Design insights & tutorials.

What’s Your Opinion on Stock Artwork?

stock artwork from Go Media's Arsenal

A recent comment by “Smutek” inspired me to ask this question. His comment was on Dave’s tutorial about designing on a budget. The tutorial covered the use of stock artwork (specifically Arsenal stuff) to create a pro-looking design in less than an hour for that client that wanted it yesterday and doesn’t have the budget to pay for a total custom job. Smutek’s comment was:

I used to smirk at stock art myself.

Then I got a job.

I am the only artist at my company. Stop by desk on any given day and you’ll find 15, sometimes more jobs in various stages of progress or waiting to be started. If I were to try and hand draw every job I would quickly find myself the victim of a client lynch mob.

This is a deadline driven industry. It isn’t about sitting in the basement in a haze of pot smoke, making something “rad”. It’s about more than drawing a “wicked” picture.

It is about juggling multiple projects, time management, asset organization, communication, talent and creativity all working under pressure in some kind of beautiful chaotic harmony to interpret the clients vision and provide them with the best possible product in the required time frame.

It’s about staying fresh and being creative, not just wen you *want* to, but when you *have* to.

There is a huge difference.

Whether you are creating completely from scratch, using clip art to compliment an original piece, or doing an entirely stock art driven piece, stock art is a tool, just like stock photography and just like fonts.

Embrace it. Or don’t.

So that brings up a great point. There are times when I feel like I should be in a basement drawing something rad every day (minus the pot smoke). But then on most occasions, there are just so many things going on, too many clients asking for stuff to be delivered asap and with a discount. Most of us are not drawing every single day. We spend hours every day in our email, twitter, or Wordpress trying to build relationships with potential clients and define our roles within the design community.

I look at customers who are buying stuff from our Arsenal and I see big names like Nike, MTV, Adidas, VH1, etc. You would think companies like that would have the budget to pay their designers to do 100% custom jobs every time? Then why are they buying our stock?

So what do you think?

Are vector packs just a cheap cop-out or are they a saving grace?

About the Author, Jeff Finley

I'm a partner at Go Media, a Cleveland web design and development firm. We also specialize in print design and branding. I started Weapons of Mass Creation Fest and wrote the book Thread's Not Dead, teaching artists and designers how to start a clothing company. In my spare time, I write songs and play drums in Campfire Conspiracy. I'm a happy husband and an aspiring b-boy and lucid dreamer.
Discover More by Jeff Finley

Discussion

We want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Do you have a better way to approach the topic? Let the community know by joining the discussion.

  • Luke

    I agree with Smutek, I work full time as a designer doing signs, vehicle wraps, business cards, and any other variety or randomness. I used to insist on drawing out everything myself, but it just isnt practical. There just isnt time to draw out everything and most likely there’s stock art that has already been created that will fulfill the requirements of the project. I cant bring myself to use any stock artwork in personal pieces or if someone is asking me to establish an asthetic. Generally anything i do off the day to day’s clock I try to create from scratch. When, as Smutek said, you have 20 odd jobs waiting for you, there isnt the time.

  • Murphy

    To me, saturation defines the line between proper and improper usage. For instance, I’ve used stock photos that also ended up on websites of competitors, and other organizations that would put our brand in a seriously negative light, or at the least, dim it. I’m in favor of using stock where appropriate, but I’ll err on the side of not using it unless necessary, and do my best to use something people haven’t seen.

    The same goes for fonts. Some of them (*cough* papyrus *cough*) are simply used way too much and devalue the overall effectiveness of a once unique element. The average person may not care, but as a professional, I do.

    I think you’re right, Stock is just another tool, and in the same vein it’s usage should be balanced with genuine creativity. There’s no other way.

  • http://wearesynapse.com Thomas Bailey

    Stock Art is a win / loose battle. Its one of those might power things that in the right hands is amazing but in the wrong does a lot of harm. Personally, if I am going to use some stock art is just as a little flourish here, or something in the background. Use the things as accents and not the whole piece. When people start to use them as the whole piece it really starts to devalue the work, art is about being original and creative. Nothing wrong with using something to help the art, but don’t make it the focus of the whole project.

    It’s really only annoying when you see someone who just got photoshop or illustrator and they are making shirts for some of the huge bands or companies by just putting the art strait on the shirt, downloading a font, and your set. Design is a process that takes time to fully understand and just cutting corners to design for your favorite band maybe fun, but in the end isn’t worth it. Take the time to develop your own craft and create your on imagery as a focal point of the product.

  • http://wearesynapse.com Thomas Bailey

    Stock Art is a win / loose battle. Its one of those might power things that in the right hands is amazing but in the wrong does a lot of harm. Personally, if I am going to use some stock art is just as a little flourish here, or something in the background. Use the things as accents and not the whole piece. When people start to use them as the whole piece it really starts to devalue the work, art is about being original and creative. Nothing wrong with using something to help the art, but don’t make it the focus of the whole project.

    It’s really only annoying when you see someone who just got photoshop or illustrator and they are making shirts for some of the huge bands or companies by just putting the art strait on the shirt, downloading a font, and your set. Design is a process that takes time to fully understand and just cutting corners to design for your favorite band maybe fun, but in the end isn’t worth it. Take the time to develop your own craft and create your on imagery as a focal point of the product.

  • ryan

    it’s a nice resource. i usually never use it as is, i will always alter it almost beyond recognition. but sometimes stock is a great inspiration to go off of. plus clients always want the same stuff that is out there, but with some tweaks. so it’s a big time saver and often a major client pleaser.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    It’s such a tough call. In a sense, you’re relying on someone else’s skills to get the job done. I personally try my best to use stock from my own library but there are times when we as an agency have tight deadlines and have to get concepts to the client right away. So, that’s when the stock art comes into play. More often than not, the stock art ends up staying in the concept — others it ends up being replaced by something custom.

    On the other hand, when someone designs a sick looking t-shirt design or poster but used nothing but Go Media vector packs (as badass as they are) it becomes more of a “Go Media Project” than it does “Freelance Man’s project”. Know what I mean?

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    It’s such a tough call. In a sense, you’re relying on someone else’s skills to get the job done. I personally try my best to use stock from my own library but there are times when we as an agency have tight deadlines and have to get concepts to the client right away. So, that’s when the stock art comes into play. More often than not, the stock art ends up staying in the concept — others it ends up being replaced by something custom.

    On the other hand, when someone designs a sick looking t-shirt design or poster but used nothing but Go Media vector packs (as badass as they are) it becomes more of a “Go Media Project” than it does “Freelance Man’s project”. Know what I mean?

  • Lera

    As a graphic designer with an emphasis on print, I don’t always have the luxury of being able to go out and take the photos that I need for a project so stock photography fills that need. The majority of my work is for clients who do not have the budget to pay for a photoshoot or custom photos, again stock photography is great option. When I can, I try to stay away from using stock photography but it is still good resource to have and to have access to.

    As a graphic designer who can’t draw (stick figures anyone?), stock art fills that void for me. Again, I try to stay away from it, but there are times that I need to use it.

    Stock art and photography is just another tool in our toolbox to help our clients achieve their goals.

  • http://www.JonathanCutrell.com lifesizestudios

    Stock art is great for exactly the same reasons fonts are great. Just because someone uses stock art doesn’t mean they can throw creativity or artistry out the window. Maybe it is better to look at stock art as tools rather than finished work; such as a color. Imagine the situation of someone claiming that an “artist” was being a sellout because he was using red, and he didn’t make red. That would be an outrageous argument, would it not?

    Though there is merit to drawing and creating from the ground up (which everyone here should know and agree with), there is just as much merit to being able to compile a piece of compelling “art,” more importantly effectively using skills and techniques to create a piece of graphic design that WORKS. We are not here for us primarily; this is a trade in which we improvise and rehash what someone else does in a fresh, new approach.

    After all,

    “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

  • Lera

    As a graphic designer with an emphasis on print, I don’t always have the luxury of being able to go out and take the photos that I need for a project so stock photography fills that need. The majority of my work is for clients who do not have the budget to pay for a photoshoot or custom photos, again stock photography is great option. When I can, I try to stay away from using stock photography but it is still good resource to have and to have access to.

    As a graphic designer who can’t draw (stick figures anyone?), stock art fills that void for me. Again, I try to stay away from it, but there are times that I need to use it.

    Stock art and photography is just another tool in our toolbox to help our clients achieve their goals.

  • http://www.JonathanCutrell.com lifesizestudios

    Stock art is great for exactly the same reasons fonts are great. Just because someone uses stock art doesn’t mean they can throw creativity or artistry out the window. Maybe it is better to look at stock art as tools rather than finished work; such as a color. Imagine the situation of someone claiming that an “artist” was being a sellout because he was using red, and he didn’t make red. That would be an outrageous argument, would it not?

    Though there is merit to drawing and creating from the ground up (which everyone here should know and agree with), there is just as much merit to being able to compile a piece of compelling “art,” more importantly effectively using skills and techniques to create a piece of graphic design that WORKS. We are not here for us primarily; this is a trade in which we improvise and rehash what someone else does in a fresh, new approach.

    After all,

    “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

  • Curtis Estridge

    Thomas Bailey just got it exactly right. Way to go!

  • Curtis Estridge

    Thomas Bailey just got it exactly right. Way to go!

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    I think stock art has it’s place, for sure. I think it’s all how you use it. If you just take a Go Media skull, for instance, then slap it on a shirt and throw a band name one, well that’s not very creative. But if you’re using it as an added element to a design, and not the focus, then I think that’s fine. I tend to use a lot of halftone and splatter vectors. Sure, I could create them myself, but it’s just an embellishment. Honestly, a normal circle halftone is going to look the same, whether if I create it or someone else does. It makes sense to save myself some time and use a created one.

    On the flipside it’s nice to create stuff yourself. I recently did a shirt for a client that has some skulls on it. It would have been very easy to use a skull vector pack and save myself a TON of time. But that’s a main design element and I want it to be MY work and indicative of what I can do. I consider each design I do as an advertisement to potential clients. I can’t, in good conscience, throw a bunch of stock vector on it and pass it off as what I can do.

    In the end, there are proper and improper uses for stock vectors. I see it used successfully now and then. Unfortunately, I see a lot of it used badly. In my opinion, it creates an amateurish product when used improperly.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    I think stock art has it’s place, for sure. I think it’s all how you use it. If you just take a Go Media skull, for instance, then slap it on a shirt and throw a band name one, well that’s not very creative. But if you’re using it as an added element to a design, and not the focus, then I think that’s fine. I tend to use a lot of halftone and splatter vectors. Sure, I could create them myself, but it’s just an embellishment. Honestly, a normal circle halftone is going to look the same, whether if I create it or someone else does. It makes sense to save myself some time and use a created one.

    On the flipside it’s nice to create stuff yourself. I recently did a shirt for a client that has some skulls on it. It would have been very easy to use a skull vector pack and save myself a TON of time. But that’s a main design element and I want it to be MY work and indicative of what I can do. I consider each design I do as an advertisement to potential clients. I can’t, in good conscience, throw a bunch of stock vector on it and pass it off as what I can do.

    In the end, there are proper and improper uses for stock vectors. I see it used successfully now and then. Unfortunately, I see a lot of it used badly. In my opinion, it creates an amateurish product when used improperly.

  • http://www.classicwfl.com WFL

    I work in the newspaper industry, and have actually covered this to an extent over at my blog (see my website, or check out http://www.classicwfl.com/blog/2008/07/spaghetti-design-how-to-do-graphic.html for one of my newspaper related posts). We are so pressed here (literally and figuratively.. hah) that we have ZERO time to create our own artwork during the day. I occasionally take time to create my own library of stock art and photography, which I use in both my independent and newspaper design work (an am currently building up to sell/distribute/give away), but most of what we do lives on stock resources – cheap ones, in fact.

    Then, of course, we have to think about stock photography. Even when I’m doing work outside the newspaper, I sometimes have to utilize stock photos because I can’t seem to motivate my poor behind to take a trip to the Andes or Australia to snap a couple quick picks of a wallaby.

  • http://www.classicwfl.com WFL

    I work in the newspaper industry, and have actually covered this to an extent over at my blog (see my website, or check out http://www.classicwfl.com/blog/2008/07/spaghetti-design-how-to-do-graphic.html for one of my newspaper related posts). We are so pressed here (literally and figuratively.. hah) that we have ZERO time to create our own artwork during the day. I occasionally take time to create my own library of stock art and photography, which I use in both my independent and newspaper design work (an am currently building up to sell/distribute/give away), but most of what we do lives on stock resources – cheap ones, in fact.

    Then, of course, we have to think about stock photography. Even when I’m doing work outside the newspaper, I sometimes have to utilize stock photos because I can’t seem to motivate my poor behind to take a trip to the Andes or Australia to snap a couple quick picks of a wallaby.

  • Chantwan

    Clients/customers may not notice the similarities of designs. The artist/designers of course usually do. I’ve used arsenal vectors and another artist made a big deal about me using them, while repeatedly saying he likes the design and he also uses the arsenal vectors. The big problem I think is that the new to adobe products and those new to basic drawing are the ones more quickly to paste every graphic they can buy onto something to get money. A lot of times people are getting paid for copycat works, these people haven’t even invested in college or a wacom tablet. Seriously I ask a basic, “that’s awesome, did you sketch and scan or did you use the wacom tablet?”, the reply is what’s a wacom tablet or I purchased/pirated these graphics. I hear “What’s a vector?” a lot too.
    Gomedia is bookmarked as an inspiration/learning site for me, I get hyped to sketch, draw, scan, and photograph everything that I feel will build my stock. The dollar bill art that has been redrawn to vectors is an example if you use those, you must design something much more artistic than anyone else who’ve used them. That pretty much sums up what I feel, you must do something much more creative if you buy the vector packs.

  • Chantwan

    Clients/customers may not notice the similarities of designs. The artist/designers of course usually do. I’ve used arsenal vectors and another artist made a big deal about me using them, while repeatedly saying he likes the design and he also uses the arsenal vectors. The big problem I think is that the new to adobe products and those new to basic drawing are the ones more quickly to paste every graphic they can buy onto something to get money. A lot of times people are getting paid for copycat works, these people haven’t even invested in college or a wacom tablet. Seriously I ask a basic, “that’s awesome, did you sketch and scan or did you use the wacom tablet?”, the reply is what’s a wacom tablet or I purchased/pirated these graphics. I hear “What’s a vector?” a lot too.
    Gomedia is bookmarked as an inspiration/learning site for me, I get hyped to sketch, draw, scan, and photograph everything that I feel will build my stock. The dollar bill art that has been redrawn to vectors is an example if you use those, you must design something much more artistic than anyone else who’ve used them. That pretty much sums up what I feel, you must do something much more creative if you buy the vector packs.

  • Chris H

    Personally, I much prefer to create my own vector artwork. Of course this isn’t always commercially viable.

    Last week I had a last minute job come in, with about an hour to create a sporty poster from scratch. I simply didn’t have time to draw the illustrations from scratch, and stock silhouettes saved the day.

    I felt dirty and violated.

  • Chris H

    Personally, I much prefer to create my own vector artwork. Of course this isn’t always commercially viable.

    Last week I had a last minute job come in, with about an hour to create a sporty poster from scratch. I simply didn’t have time to draw the illustrations from scratch, and stock silhouettes saved the day.

    I felt dirty and violated.

  • http://www.attractionindustries.com Dayne Henry

    I am an Illustrator based out of Victorville, CA. And I have to say that EVERYONE has a good point on this subject so far… it’s just one of those things that you either love or hate.

    Stock art used to be the devil around this neck of the woods, especially when you see the kind of CRAP that comes out of some of the shops in this area. In fact, my company used to put on our flyers: “SAY NO TO CLIP ART”. The reason I think most of the stuff sucks though, is because they aren’t really designers. AND they use UGLY stock art to begin with. But it’s just one of those classic misconceptions:

    “I have a computer, I got this here Illustrator… I think I’ll design some bad ass tees!! And be the CHEAPEST IN TOWN!!! Now uh…Where’s that ART EXPLOSION VOLUME 2 Book at!!”

    Sad, but most designers in my area think like this. It all comes down to one thing: design sense. It’s ok to use stock images when needed, but I prefer drawing stuff from scratch. But I’ve seen some stock designed tees and ads that just blow my mind, simply because of HOW WELL it was put together. But when all is said and done, what matters most is how much time you have to put something together. If you ABSOLUTELY MUST, then cool. If not, be creative!! That’s what got us into this industry… right?

  • http://www.attractionindustries.com Dayne Henry

    I am an Illustrator based out of Victorville, CA. And I have to say that EVERYONE has a good point on this subject so far… it’s just one of those things that you either love or hate.

    Stock art used to be the devil around this neck of the woods, especially when you see the kind of CRAP that comes out of some of the shops in this area. In fact, my company used to put on our flyers: “SAY NO TO CLIP ART”. The reason I think most of the stuff sucks though, is because they aren’t really designers. AND they use UGLY stock art to begin with. But it’s just one of those classic misconceptions:

    “I have a computer, I got this here Illustrator… I think I’ll design some bad ass tees!! And be the CHEAPEST IN TOWN!!! Now uh…Where’s that ART EXPLOSION VOLUME 2 Book at!!”

    Sad, but most designers in my area think like this. It all comes down to one thing: design sense. It’s ok to use stock images when needed, but I prefer drawing stuff from scratch. But I’ve seen some stock designed tees and ads that just blow my mind, simply because of HOW WELL it was put together. But when all is said and done, what matters most is how much time you have to put something together. If you ABSOLUTELY MUST, then cool. If not, be creative!! That’s what got us into this industry… right?

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff Finley

    Great discussion so far. I’m still waiting for the purists to say stock art is the devil!

    I know I could sound like a hypocrite when I admire original work and try to do things myself from scratch – and then go release another vector pack for the Arsenal. We certainly are enablers for the amateurs to fake it by abusing the convenience of stock art.

    But like everyone has said, it’s about HOW you use it. I see terrible cut and paste jobs using our Vector Packs all the time (most recently at Target of all places). I can’t help but think – “Why isn’t Target just hiring us to do really cool custom tees for them?”

    I feel the same way whenever I see big name companies I’d like to work for buying our stock. Why not just hire us?

  • http://www.gomedia.us Jeff Finley

    Great discussion so far. I’m still waiting for the purists to say stock art is the devil!

    I know I could sound like a hypocrite when I admire original work and try to do things myself from scratch – and then go release another vector pack for the Arsenal. We certainly are enablers for the amateurs to fake it by abusing the convenience of stock art.

    But like everyone has said, it’s about HOW you use it. I see terrible cut and paste jobs using our Vector Packs all the time (most recently at Target of all places). I can’t help but think – “Why isn’t Target just hiring us to do really cool custom tees for them?”

    I feel the same way whenever I see big name companies I’d like to work for buying our stock. Why not just hire us?

  • http://aiburn.com Sean Hodge

    I think stock art is great. Last year I worked on small business websites mostly. I was able to make a living at it, and without affordable stock, it would have been difficult to break into the industry.

    It’s not a skills issue, but rather a time versus budget versus deadline issue.

    It was great to design a custom the logo, site layout, and then grab vector or image stock to get the rest of the illustrative elements done on budget. Of course the fully customized sites where there was a budget for me to do icons as well, rather than stock was great, but rare. Thx.

  • http://aiburn.com Sean Hodge

    I think stock art is great. Last year I worked on small business websites mostly. I was able to make a living at it, and without affordable stock, it would have been difficult to break into the industry.

    It’s not a skills issue, but rather a time versus budget versus deadline issue.

    It was great to design a custom the logo, site layout, and then grab vector or image stock to get the rest of the illustrative elements done on budget. Of course the fully customized sites where there was a budget for me to do icons as well, rather than stock was great, but rare. Thx.

  • Kelli C

    As a beginner that is investing a lot of time and effort into creating new skills, I am VERY thankful for stock art, but not in the way you would think. Right now, I am trying to build my skill level and a lot of times, I use stock art to copy and try to reproduce the exact same thing or sometimes to make my own version of it. I rarely, if ever, have used these in an actual design but their creation helps me to teach myself during a time when I cannot choose to attend school. It’s a lot like a classic art class when you are supposed to recreate the work of a master – no one would ever mistake the student’s work to be the master’s but yet it helps the student to learn necessary techniques that they can later employ in their own creations.

    All of that said, cheesy, uncreative use of stock art has never helped anybody, yet it does play a very distinct part in today’s design world. We are a capitalist nation that thrives on the dollar, not on artistic masterpiece. For everyone to survive on both plains, we must strike a precarious balance between two definite extremes.

  • Kelli C

    As a beginner that is investing a lot of time and effort into creating new skills, I am VERY thankful for stock art, but not in the way you would think. Right now, I am trying to build my skill level and a lot of times, I use stock art to copy and try to reproduce the exact same thing or sometimes to make my own version of it. I rarely, if ever, have used these in an actual design but their creation helps me to teach myself during a time when I cannot choose to attend school. It’s a lot like a classic art class when you are supposed to recreate the work of a master – no one would ever mistake the student’s work to be the master’s but yet it helps the student to learn necessary techniques that they can later employ in their own creations.

    All of that said, cheesy, uncreative use of stock art has never helped anybody, yet it does play a very distinct part in today’s design world. We are a capitalist nation that thrives on the dollar, not on artistic masterpiece. For everyone to survive on both plains, we must strike a precarious balance between two definite extremes.

  • Nathan

    There’s a time and a place for it. Deadlines, no budget, sure, sensibly apply some stock to save time. It has no place in my portfolio work. Great post!

  • Nathan

    There’s a time and a place for it. Deadlines, no budget, sure, sensibly apply some stock to save time. It has no place in my portfolio work. Great post!

  • http://www.kylegallant.com Kyle Gallant

    I think you nailed it from from the start, it’s a tool just like anything else we use. We do work in a deadline driven industry, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to draw out everything we need for a particular job.

    Also I think someone else said it well too, the fact that stock imagery/art doesn’t need to be used as is… we have the tools to change, modify, and create something completely different from the stock that we use.

    We all want to be as creative as possible, but sometimes it’s just not possible to do every step of a design because… lets face it, sometimes going out and shooting pictures, or drawing what’s in our head… just doesn’t fit the time frame.

    “This is a deadline driven industry. It isn’t about sitting in the basement in a haze of pot smoke, making something “rad”. It’s about more than drawing a “wicked” picture.”

    This got a good giggle out of me

  • http://www.kylegallant.com Kyle Gallant

    I think you nailed it from from the start, it’s a tool just like anything else we use. We do work in a deadline driven industry, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to draw out everything we need for a particular job.

    Also I think someone else said it well too, the fact that stock imagery/art doesn’t need to be used as is… we have the tools to change, modify, and create something completely different from the stock that we use.

    We all want to be as creative as possible, but sometimes it’s just not possible to do every step of a design because… lets face it, sometimes going out and shooting pictures, or drawing what’s in our head… just doesn’t fit the time frame.

    “This is a deadline driven industry. It isn’t about sitting in the basement in a haze of pot smoke, making something “rad”. It’s about more than drawing a “wicked” picture.”

    This got a good giggle out of me

  • http://www.gomedia.us Oliver Barrett

    I think there are endless possibilities with stock art as an element. I tend to use combine and layer them until they are something completely different. It makes for some cool textures and background effect. Using stock art as the focus of a piece is something that I have a problem with though. It devalues the artist, the work, and the industry. It’s not creative and gives clients the wrong impression of what our industry is about.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Oliver Barrett

    I think there are endless possibilities with stock art as an element. I tend to use combine and layer them until they are something completely different. It makes for some cool textures and background effect. Using stock art as the focus of a piece is something that I have a problem with though. It devalues the artist, the work, and the industry. It’s not creative and gives clients the wrong impression of what our industry is about.

  • http://www.starvingyoungartists.com bruce bolin

    To me, stock is just a building block or a means to inspire.

    Sometimes I just sit and look at stock and wait to have a creative thought enter my head; and other times, I want to try a new technique or just need to create something *NOW* and stock elements give me just that oppertunity.

    I also whole-heartedly enjoy studying the way GoMedia elements are constructed.

  • http://www.starvingyoungartists.com bruce bolin

    To me, stock is just a building block or a means to inspire.

    Sometimes I just sit and look at stock and wait to have a creative thought enter my head; and other times, I want to try a new technique or just need to create something *NOW* and stock elements give me just that oppertunity.

    I also whole-heartedly enjoy studying the way GoMedia elements are constructed.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    @Jeff

    Which Target pieces are you referring to? Just wondering.

    BTW, I actually used some (in particular, arrows) of the GoMedia vector packs in the background for http://www.3n2sports.com but made my own splatters and other vectors. The arrows were a big hit with the client.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    @Jeff

    Which Target pieces are you referring to? Just wondering.

    BTW, I actually used some (in particular, arrows) of the GoMedia vector packs in the background for http://www.3n2sports.com but made my own splatters and other vectors. The arrows were a big hit with the client.

  • http://www.wedgienet.net Reg

    I guess it depends on how much you value your work and who you’re doing the work for. I came from a broadcasting background where, as a motion graphics artist, you’re expected to work fast, and deliver on time, exactly on the dot as whatever stuff you’re doing will go on-air just minutes later. At first we were told not to use premade loopable moving backgrounds but there were times were it was NECESSARY to use them to save on precious production and render time.

    You always have to practice discretion when using stock materials, though. It depends on the client and the project, I guess. Getting paid big bucks to overhaul the broadcast design of a major show? Stay away from the stock as much as possible– you’re getting paid for your design skills so don’t cheat the client and slap on someone else’s stock work. But if it’s a small, low-visibility project (a friend’s birthday party, for example), you can let a few stock slip through.

    My fellow artists and I avoid it as much as possible, though. With our kind of work being very visible (airing on TV), we see others’ works and can tell if they used stock moving backgrounds or not. “Hey, that’s JB_465.mov!” If we’re going to use it, we try to tweak the colors, combine it with other elements, change the orientation– basically not use it as it is.

    That has the same premise as Photoshop filters, doesn’t it? Filters save time but drop shadows, strokes, and outer glows just look bad when applied with the default settings. Try to mix it up.

  • http://www.wedgienet.net Reg

    I guess it depends on how much you value your work and who you’re doing the work for. I came from a broadcasting background where, as a motion graphics artist, you’re expected to work fast, and deliver on time, exactly on the dot as whatever stuff you’re doing will go on-air just minutes later. At first we were told not to use premade loopable moving backgrounds but there were times were it was NECESSARY to use them to save on precious production and render time.

    You always have to practice discretion when using stock materials, though. It depends on the client and the project, I guess. Getting paid big bucks to overhaul the broadcast design of a major show? Stay away from the stock as much as possible– you’re getting paid for your design skills so don’t cheat the client and slap on someone else’s stock work. But if it’s a small, low-visibility project (a friend’s birthday party, for example), you can let a few stock slip through.

    My fellow artists and I avoid it as much as possible, though. With our kind of work being very visible (airing on TV), we see others’ works and can tell if they used stock moving backgrounds or not. “Hey, that’s JB_465.mov!” If we’re going to use it, we try to tweak the colors, combine it with other elements, change the orientation– basically not use it as it is.

    That has the same premise as Photoshop filters, doesn’t it? Filters save time but drop shadows, strokes, and outer glows just look bad when applied with the default settings. Try to mix it up.

  • http://mrenteria.com Mike

    Stock art is great, but it doesn’t give me the same personal satisfaction of a hand drawn piece that I spent hours on. On the other hand, I work in trend driven industry with impossible deadlines, so whatever stock is cool is what we are going to be using. Sometimes stuff comes out looking trendy and generic, and sometimes thats what the client wants.

  • http://mrenteria.com Mike

    Stock art is great, but it doesn’t give me the same personal satisfaction of a hand drawn piece that I spent hours on. On the other hand, I work in trend driven industry with impossible deadlines, so whatever stock is cool is what we are going to be using. Sometimes stuff comes out looking trendy and generic, and sometimes thats what the client wants.

  • Tab

    I’m with Smutek here… I have a job that demands quick turnovers every day and I’m the only one here… Sometimes I have the time to devote to drawing something rad in the basement (!) but most of the time I need to pump out designs too quickly to allow me any real fun. Stock art has saved my behind more times than I care to admit. When I have the time I’ll do my own illustrations but, sadly, time is a luxury in this business.

  • Tab

    I’m with Smutek here… I have a job that demands quick turnovers every day and I’m the only one here… Sometimes I have the time to devote to drawing something rad in the basement (!) but most of the time I need to pump out designs too quickly to allow me any real fun. Stock art has saved my behind more times than I care to admit. When I have the time I’ll do my own illustrations but, sadly, time is a luxury in this business.

  • http://www.thisisaaronslife.com Aaron I

    I am in a position where i am the only designer at a search marketing company, I do all the web, and all the print for our company, and for some of the various clients needs along the way. There are times when I have to have things completed “yesterday” and i simply don’t have enough time, so stock photos/ vectors have been a great asset.

    I honestly try to save them for those tight situations that I am in, and try to create original(non-stock) pieces as much as I can.

    It benefits the overall good of the company(not to mention my employment) when my projects get completed on time.

    So for me they have been a big help… but i don’t allow them to become a crutch… if that makes sense.

  • http://www.thisisaaronslife.com Aaron I

    I am in a position where i am the only designer at a search marketing company, I do all the web, and all the print for our company, and for some of the various clients needs along the way. There are times when I have to have things completed “yesterday” and i simply don’t have enough time, so stock photos/ vectors have been a great asset.

    I honestly try to save them for those tight situations that I am in, and try to create original(non-stock) pieces as much as I can.

    It benefits the overall good of the company(not to mention my employment) when my projects get completed on time.

    So for me they have been a big help… but i don’t allow them to become a crutch… if that makes sense.

  • Bryan

    It sounds to me like so far everyone’s on the same page. And I applaud Jeff for being so transparent seeing as he makes a living off of stock art. I’m with Thomas…it’s a tool, ryan…I usually start with stock art and alter it beyond recognition…and mike…it doesn’t give me personal satisfaction. you guys hit it right on.

    However…my biggest pet peeve as a logo designer is when I see stock art in LOGO designs…I think this crosses a line. Use it to embellish a logo…design a website background…add to other elements to create a cool t-shirt…whatever…but when I see stock art used in logo designs my blood starts to boil. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Bryan

    It sounds to me like so far everyone’s on the same page. And I applaud Jeff for being so transparent seeing as he makes a living off of stock art. I’m with Thomas…it’s a tool, ryan…I usually start with stock art and alter it beyond recognition…and mike…it doesn’t give me personal satisfaction. you guys hit it right on.

    However…my biggest pet peeve as a logo designer is when I see stock art in LOGO designs…I think this crosses a line. Use it to embellish a logo…design a website background…add to other elements to create a cool t-shirt…whatever…but when I see stock art used in logo designs my blood starts to boil. Maybe it’s just me.

  • http://www.tshirt-factory.ro Tshirt-Factory

    First of all sorry for my english.I am not a native english speaker.

    Like many other freelancers i start doing custom projects for different customers and in time i got stuck with tons of left overs from rejected design or pieces i did not like it at that moment.Then looking at Go Media Arsenal stock art, i realized that the multitude elements left in my junk folder could be useful for others not so skillful at drawing.After i start selling a few i realized that this business could be the perfect oportunity to get rid of rejected items or fill the spare time between the projects (i have times when i am free for days).My point is very simple….stock art is for people in need for cheap projects or for the ones who have a very tight deadline.

  • http://www.tshirt-factory.ro Tshirt-Factory

    First of all sorry for my english.I am not a native english speaker.

    Like many other freelancers i start doing custom projects for different customers and in time i got stuck with tons of left overs from rejected design or pieces i did not like it at that moment.Then looking at Go Media Arsenal stock art, i realized that the multitude elements left in my junk folder could be useful for others not so skillful at drawing.After i start selling a few i realized that this business could be the perfect oportunity to get rid of rejected items or fill the spare time between the projects (i have times when i am free for days).My point is very simple….stock art is for people in need for cheap projects or for the ones who have a very tight deadline.

  • http://www.painincdesigns.com Pain Inc

    Stock is something, that helps generate different looks fast, and can greatly increase turn around times. Especialy the elements halftones, splatters, grunge, stuff that can be time consuming. I would rather ease of immediately pull a stock paint splatter, than going out spraying paint splatters on card, and trying to get something I like, scanning it in and getting back to the task on hand.

    That being said I do place elements on a variety of stock sites, but am selective of what I do sell as stock.

  • http://www.painincdesigns.com Pain Inc

    Stock is something, that helps generate different looks fast, and can greatly increase turn around times. Especialy the elements halftones, splatters, grunge, stuff that can be time consuming. I would rather ease of immediately pull a stock paint splatter, than going out spraying paint splatters on card, and trying to get something I like, scanning it in and getting back to the task on hand.

    That being said I do place elements on a variety of stock sites, but am selective of what I do sell as stock.

  • Luke

    I agree with Smutek, I work full time as a designer doing signs, vehicle wraps, business cards, and any other variety or randomness. I used to insist on drawing out everything myself, but it just isnt practical. There just isnt time to draw out everything and most likely there’s stock art that has already been created that will fulfill the requirements of the project. I cant bring myself to use any stock artwork in personal pieces or if someone is asking me to establish an asthetic. Generally anything i do off the day to day’s clock I try to create from scratch. When, as Smutek said, you have 20 odd jobs waiting for you, there isnt the time.

  • Murphy

    To me, saturation defines the line between proper and improper usage. For instance, I’ve used stock photos that also ended up on websites of competitors, and other organizations that would put our brand in a seriously negative light, or at the least, dim it. I’m in favor of using stock where appropriate, but I’ll err on the side of not using it unless necessary, and do my best to use something people haven’t seen.

    The same goes for fonts. Some of them (*cough* papyrus *cough*) are simply used way too much and devalue the overall effectiveness of a once unique element. The average person may not care, but as a professional, I do.

    I think you’re right, Stock is just another tool, and in the same vein it’s usage should be balanced with genuine creativity. There’s no other way.

  • http://www.franciscogalarraga.com Francisco Galárraga

    In the personal I hate stock art & photography, and rarely use them in my work. As cool as some of of gomedias stock is, i would never use it. I like to do stuff from scratch, no matter how long it takes. Using stock art in my opinion degrades the abilities of designers to evolve & improve with their work… turning them into conformists. The 1 hour quickie job opportunity is no excuse for me neither. In that time at least I will present them with a rough sketch, but made by me. As I evolve as an artist, my skills also improve, and what would have taken me hours before takes less time. I have nothing against people that creat stock art (like go media)… i just think that people who use them fully are lazy conformists… and it shows in the design world: all of a sudden we have lots of similar looking stuff all around the web, from t-shirt designs to band posters, etc. Good for GoMedia! Or maybe not…

  • http://www.franciscogalarraga.com Francisco Galárraga

    In the personal I hate stock art & photography, and rarely use them in my work. As cool as some of of gomedias stock is, i would never use it. I like to do stuff from scratch, no matter how long it takes. Using stock art in my opinion degrades the abilities of designers to evolve & improve with their work… turning them into conformists. The 1 hour quickie job opportunity is no excuse for me neither. In that time at least I will present them with a rough sketch, but made by me. As I evolve as an artist, my skills also improve, and what would have taken me hours before takes less time. I have nothing against people that creat stock art (like go media)… i just think that people who use them fully are lazy conformists… and it shows in the design world: all of a sudden we have lots of similar looking stuff all around the web, from t-shirt designs to band posters, etc. Good for GoMedia! Or maybe not…

  • Pat Arlt

    Stock art and photography are great tools but all to often Ive seen shirts graphics that just look like they have been ripped straight out of vector packs illustrated stock art.

    As a student I’ve always tried by best to use my own photography and draw and create all my own vectors. Its always ok to use stock but just make sure you manipulate it enough and incorporate it into your own style that it looks original and not like everyone else.

    @Murphy I feel the same way about Papyrus. If you own a handmade paper shop more power to you but other wise just leave it be.

    @Jeff I see those shirts all the time and have always wondered if you guys were doing them or not.

  • ryan

    it’s a nice resource. i usually never use it as is, i will always alter it almost beyond recognition. but sometimes stock is a great inspiration to go off of. plus clients always want the same stuff that is out there, but with some tweaks. so it’s a big time saver and often a major client pleaser.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    Francisco,

    What about fonts? They’re — in a sense, no different than a library of vector skulls.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    Francisco,

    What about fonts? They’re — in a sense, no different than a library of vector skulls.

  • http://colorburned.com/ Grant Friedman

    Um…I feel like you guys are down playing the amount of time you spend drawing something rad. You guys draw too much rad stuff for you to be spending all your time Twittering. But I have no problems using vector stock, especially yours.

  • http://colorburned.com/ Grant Friedman

    Um…I feel like you guys are down playing the amount of time you spend drawing something rad. You guys draw too much rad stuff for you to be spending all your time Twittering. But I have no problems using vector stock, especially yours.

  • http://media3ink.blogspot.com.br Wellington

    I´m a braziliam designer, and a fan of go media, so

    what I think :

    there is always the two sides of the story,

    The packages, vectors are a great help to us míseros designers,
    we have so much work that we do not spare more time to prepare our gear,
    I think the packages, vectors are a powerful tool.

    But the negative side is that many designers abuse of both packages that end up falling into cliché. and this is very bad for the designer,
    And it leaves people staying, always searching for something already finalized in the packages.

    So I think the packs must be only a tool, an aid to the designer, and can not be making the single exit.

  • http://media3ink.blogspot.com.br Wellington

    I´m a braziliam designer, and a fan of go media, so

    what I think :

    there is always the two sides of the story,

    The packages, vectors are a great help to us míseros designers,
    we have so much work that we do not spare more time to prepare our gear,
    I think the packages, vectors are a powerful tool.

    But the negative side is that many designers abuse of both packages that end up falling into cliché. and this is very bad for the designer,
    And it leaves people staying, always searching for something already finalized in the packages.

    So I think the packs must be only a tool, an aid to the designer, and can not be making the single exit.

  • jaime.radar

    i do work for a lot of different markets… from churches and restaurants to bands and hip hop artists.

    i take a lot more pride in my music industry work because i get to be creative with it. a lot of clients give me the freedom to do what i want, and so i tend to do the entire project from scratch, even creating textures from scratch and taking any photos needed, and sometimes it will take a while to complete a project.

    on the other hand, when it comes to a dry cleaner that needs a coupon whipped up or a church that needs to promote next week’s big benefit dinner, i keep in mind that the bills need paying, and i am more likely to accept the job and use some stock art to get it done quickly and efficiently. most of these jobs dont give me any creative freedom to begin with, so i dont feel bad using paid for vector stock art to get it over with and on to the next fun piece.

    so all in all, i guess i’m saying that using too much pre-made pieces feel like i’m cheating, but when the bills need paying, its nice to have a lending hand. i’ve even used my down time to create my own “vector packs” so that when i am in a rush down the line, i can use them and still be original with the elements. i’m sure there are more designers that work for someone using these pieces, as opposed to designers/illustrators that are freelancing.

    the one major downside i see to stock vector pieces is how easy it opens the doors for new designers to come in and undercut other designers by selling pieces that are almost the stock vector pieces themselves. too many clients dont care about the quality/orginality of a design as much as they do about how much theyre spending on it, and too many new designers are doing it because its cool and makes them some money. just like everyone with a camera thinks theyre a photographer, everyone with a copy of photoshop thinks theyre a designer.

  • Serg Chernata

    I recently asked you guys the same question via twitter. Personally, t is very difficult for me to bring myself up to use stock. That is because if I do use it I’ll end up feeling like I do not own my work however you made a valid point about deadlines, workload and just the fact that stock vectors are like fonts or photo’s. This article is definitely an eye opener. However I must add that a line needs to be drawn at some point in relation to how much stock is OK to use before having a stock collage instead of a portfolio.

  • Serg Chernata

    I recently asked you guys the same question via twitter. Personally, t is very difficult for me to bring myself up to use stock. That is because if I do use it I’ll end up feeling like I do not own my work however you made a valid point about deadlines, workload and just the fact that stock vectors are like fonts or photo’s. This article is definitely an eye opener. However I must add that a line needs to be drawn at some point in relation to how much stock is OK to use before having a stock collage instead of a portfolio.

  • Alex Tomlinson

    If it wasn’t for go media’s arsenal I would never have learnt the power of vector images.
    I also find that it’s nice to look at the stock art and then actually draw it myself and produce it, if you’re drawing from reference then it is a much quicker process but you still get the satisfaction of having something that you have drawn and has come completely from you.

    I think that the idea of stock driven pieces is quite damaging in away, if its your own stock then fair enough, I have nothing against using your own stock
    but I think creating something using SOLELY other peoples work for example the arsenal is a bit of a con to the people who are paying for your services.

    Say I buy one pack, and create an entire design from its contents, its already payed for itself so the profit margin is huge, and like I said, its not fair to those who are paying for your work

    that’s my 2 cents

  • Alex Tomlinson

    If it wasn’t for go media’s arsenal I would never have learnt the power of vector images.
    I also find that it’s nice to look at the stock art and then actually draw it myself and produce it, if you’re drawing from reference then it is a much quicker process but you still get the satisfaction of having something that you have drawn and has come completely from you.

    I think that the idea of stock driven pieces is quite damaging in away, if its your own stock then fair enough, I have nothing against using your own stock
    but I think creating something using SOLELY other peoples work for example the arsenal is a bit of a con to the people who are paying for your services.

    Say I buy one pack, and create an entire design from its contents, its already payed for itself so the profit margin is huge, and like I said, its not fair to those who are paying for your work

    that’s my 2 cents

  • ChequeredManiac

    As a beginner, I kinda rely on stock art to show my eye for a good design. Using stock lets people see what I am capable of with colour, type, positioning and clarity of purpose.

    As an unskilled illustrator it will take a long time for me to be able to draw what I want to use in the design, but I will get there and that is when I will really come into my own as an artist. A job is a job, though, and whatever you use to have a happy client and a pocket full o cash is completely necessary

    There are also some essential bits of stock, like patterns, spraypaints, textures etc. that you can’t draw so stock is perfect for that, a lot quicker ,if a little less fun, than grabbing a spray can and high res camera and a nice high contrast background, you’d certainy be getting high in your unventelated basement though.

    I think artists shouldn’t rely on stock as much, but if you’re a designer trying to get a job done its all fair game, whether it is entirely your work, partially or none (once its not ripped off someone elses work) its what you’ve gotta do

  • http://blog.mreyes.tv Miguel

    “Are vector packs just a cheap cop-out or are they a saving grace?”

    I don’t think it is a cheap cop-out or a saving grace, I would call it a tool. Tools like the adobe suite, final cut studio, trapcode plugins, video copilot, sapphire effects and liquid mask for example. We all use these tools day to day in our fields to create projects and complete our daily tasks. With out having access to these tools how would we ever get things done? So what’s the difference with stock art? I really don’t see any. I think the biggest reason why some may feel that stock art is a cheap way out is because now everyone has access to it. Or how someone can make bad use of stock art. Especially when specific stock art blows up all over the place and becomes recognizable. Although you could take out the time and hand draw your own arrow or skull. But in reality is it not just another skull and arrow? Would your client even care that you made your own hand drawn skull or do they care more about their finish product?

    After reading many of the comments on this post. Everyone brings up valid points and I agree with the majority of them. Stock art provides many of us with images of places, people, assets we are unable to go physically and get ourself, videos of footage that many of us don’t have time to create or even have a camera to capture it, or even a crazy looking vector piece that someone would have a hard time creating for a client, or even a website template that provides the code structure for you. It provides the necessary elements for us to get the job done. Just like a tool would.

    As a result, I feel stock art is another tool that many of us use and we should appreciate that stock art is available to us. Also to make good use of the stock elements and not to abuse them. For those who are against stock art, then keep doing what you are doing. But don’t get upset when some else can make a better design using stock art then you could ever achieve with you own custom designs. Either way you choose to go remember we should deliver the best possible product to our clients regardless if we get paid little or a huge amount. Doing what ever it takes to put that smile on their face so we can get that check!

    P.S.

    “Why isn’t Target just hiring us to do really cool custom tees for them?” My guess, you provided Target with everything they need to make their own custom t-shirts. Plus I have seen your portfolio which is amazing by the way, but so are your vector packs.

  • http://blog.mreyes.tv Miguel

    “Are vector packs just a cheap cop-out or are they a saving grace?”

    I don’t think it is a cheap cop-out or a saving grace, I would call it a tool. Tools like the adobe suite, final cut studio, trapcode plugins, video copilot, sapphire effects and liquid mask for example. We all use these tools day to day in our fields to create projects and complete our daily tasks. With out having access to these tools how would we ever get things done? So what’s the difference with stock art? I really don’t see any. I think the biggest reason why some may feel that stock art is a cheap way out is because now everyone has access to it. Or how someone can make bad use of stock art. Especially when specific stock art blows up all over the place and becomes recognizable. Although you could take out the time and hand draw your own arrow or skull. But in reality is it not just another skull and arrow? Would your client even care that you made your own hand drawn skull or do they care more about their finish product?

    After reading many of the comments on this post. Everyone brings up valid points and I agree with the majority of them. Stock art provides many of us with images of places, people, assets we are unable to go physically and get ourself, videos of footage that many of us don’t have time to create or even have a camera to capture it, or even a crazy looking vector piece that someone would have a hard time creating for a client, or even a website template that provides the code structure for you. It provides the necessary elements for us to get the job done. Just like a tool would.

    As a result, I feel stock art is another tool that many of us use and we should appreciate that stock art is available to us. Also to make good use of the stock elements and not to abuse them. For those who are against stock art, then keep doing what you are doing. But don’t get upset when some else can make a better design using stock art then you could ever achieve with you own custom designs. Either way you choose to go remember we should deliver the best possible product to our clients regardless if we get paid little or a huge amount. Doing what ever it takes to put that smile on their face so we can get that check!

    P.S.

    “Why isn’t Target just hiring us to do really cool custom tees for them?” My guess, you provided Target with everything they need to make their own custom t-shirts. Plus I have seen your portfolio which is amazing by the way, but so are your vector packs.

  • socoduce

    Like it was said before, vectors are the same as clip art, stock photos, and fonts or even brush shapes for that matter. They are tools. True, anyone can just drop a bunch of stuff into a file and post it on the web. I see a bunch of ads that look like the clip art car-wrecks (pieces just smashed together). Then I’ve seen people take a tutorial and their own talent and inspiration and make a masterpiece. The tutorial that kicked this whole conversation off was so simple and effective it was brilliant form an art-as-a-job perspective. I enjoy what you’re doing and I hope you keep it up.

  • Hipnotik

    Well said, Tshirt Factory: “stock art is for people in need for cheap projects.” That is so true. I agree with everyone. As long as you use the resources for good, then you can sleep at night. Let’s take this one step further. What about stock brushes? Or stock styles? Do you believe you’re not being creative, when you use stock brushes?

  • Hipnotik

    Well said, Tshirt Factory: “stock art is for people in need for cheap projects.” That is so true. I agree with everyone. As long as you use the resources for good, then you can sleep at night. Let’s take this one step further. What about stock brushes? Or stock styles? Do you believe you’re not being creative, when you use stock brushes?

  • http://www.wearesynapse.com Glenn Thomas

    Here’s a thought – is it so different to buy a stock photo, than it is to hire someone to shoot the exact same thing?

    Right now where I live its Winter, and a client wants a sunny, grassy photo – I don’t want to turn the work down so I hunt down the perfect stock photo to make the base of my image.

    If i could jump outside in the sun and go and find a grassy field, I would, but its simply not that easy.

  • http://www.wearesynapse.com Glenn Thomas

    Here’s a thought – is it so different to buy a stock photo, than it is to hire someone to shoot the exact same thing?

    Right now where I live its Winter, and a client wants a sunny, grassy photo – I don’t want to turn the work down so I hunt down the perfect stock photo to make the base of my image.

    If i could jump outside in the sun and go and find a grassy field, I would, but its simply not that easy.

  • Pat Arlt

    Stock art and photography are great tools but all to often Ive seen shirts graphics that just look like they have been ripped straight out of vector packs illustrated stock art.

    As a student I’ve always tried by best to use my own photography and draw and create all my own vectors. Its always ok to use stock but just make sure you manipulate it enough and incorporate it into your own style that it looks original and not like everyone else.

    @Murphy I feel the same way about Papyrus. If you own a handmade paper shop more power to you but other wise just leave it be.

    @Jeff I see those shirts all the time and have always wondered if you guys were doing them or not.

  • jaime.radar

    i do work for a lot of different markets… from churches and restaurants to bands and hip hop artists.

    i take a lot more pride in my music industry work because i get to be creative with it. a lot of clients give me the freedom to do what i want, and so i tend to do the entire project from scratch, even creating textures from scratch and taking any photos needed, and sometimes it will take a while to complete a project.

    on the other hand, when it comes to a dry cleaner that needs a coupon whipped up or a church that needs to promote next week’s big benefit dinner, i keep in mind that the bills need paying, and i am more likely to accept the job and use some stock art to get it done quickly and efficiently. most of these jobs dont give me any creative freedom to begin with, so i dont feel bad using paid for vector stock art to get it over with and on to the next fun piece.

    so all in all, i guess i’m saying that using too much pre-made pieces feel like i’m cheating, but when the bills need paying, its nice to have a lending hand. i’ve even used my down time to create my own “vector packs” so that when i am in a rush down the line, i can use them and still be original with the elements. i’m sure there are more designers that work for someone using these pieces, as opposed to designers/illustrators that are freelancing.

    the one major downside i see to stock vector pieces is how easy it opens the doors for new designers to come in and undercut other designers by selling pieces that are almost the stock vector pieces themselves. too many clients dont care about the quality/orginality of a design as much as they do about how much theyre spending on it, and too many new designers are doing it because its cool and makes them some money. just like everyone with a camera thinks theyre a photographer, everyone with a copy of photoshop thinks theyre a designer.

  • Simon H.

    Dear GoMedia, dear Jeff.

    I would say that I agree with Smutek on that.

    I worked this summer in a company doing Graphic Design (T shirts design, embroidery, screen printing, logo devlopment and so on) in the apparel industry. I already knew in my design studies (either in product design or in graphic design) thzt our work is ruled by these deadlines. I just discovered how true it was. And I’m not even talking about customers coming in and wanting a perfect design for a budget that I would qualify of ridiculous.

    So yes, stock vectors and/or artworks and/or fonts and/or stock photographies ARE usefull (and GoMedia vector stock is awesome because beautiful, but that’s a different debate).
    We’re in situations where we just don’t have the time to create every single elements we need for our job. If somebody can create that element or something close enough that we just have to modify a tiny bit, then I’d applause and go direclty there !

    I personally also see the use of stock vectors/artwork/fonts/fill the blank as a challenge : how to still be creative by using these things that everybody has access to ?

    An other aspect is that stock vector can teach you how to use your software (in this case Illustrator). Because most of the time (or when the file is not merged and cleaned) you can see the backstage work that was necessary to create the piece, which is cool for beginning designers.

    And a final aspect would be of course that for people with no artistic knowledge or when you’re just a fan of what the producers of the stock vectors are doing, it can be a way to first go over that lack of talent and second be a way to show that you’re a fan (you just have to be smart enough not to copy but to do a tribute that’s still creative).

    Hope that helps/completes/brings you new stuff to think about :-)

  • ChequeredManiac

    As a beginner, I kinda rely on stock art to show my eye for a good design. Using stock lets people see what I am capable of with colour, type, positioning and clarity of purpose.

    As an unskilled illustrator it will take a long time for me to be able to draw what I want to use in the design, but I will get there and that is when I will really come into my own as an artist. A job is a job, though, and whatever you use to have a happy client and a pocket full o cash is completely necessary

    There are also some essential bits of stock, like patterns, spraypaints, textures etc. that you can’t draw so stock is perfect for that, a lot quicker ,if a little less fun, than grabbing a spray can and high res camera and a nice high contrast background, you’d certainy be getting high in your unventelated basement though.

    I think artists shouldn’t rely on stock as much, but if you’re a designer trying to get a job done its all fair game, whether it is entirely your work, partially or none (once its not ripped off someone elses work) its what you’ve gotta do

  • digital_impact

    hey, i just completed three graphic works for my major work in art that will be assessed for my graduating mark in highschool. even though i probably dont have as much experience as the people on this page i have to say that stock art gave my works that little bit more that was required.

    stock art is definatly needed, it has the potential to save so much time and when used in moderation adds that extra depth and flare to a work. regardless of what my work is i like to have a supply that i can through in if i feel it will improve a work. i have even started creating my own that i just have on my laptop as brushes.

    at the end of the day as an artist though i think it is required to have that sense of ‘Raddness” in your work but if your working for a dead line stock art can deffinatly save you and still look rad. i am, however against creating an entire work out of nothing but stock art.

  • digital_impact

    hey, i just completed three graphic works for my major work in art that will be assessed for my graduating mark in highschool. even though i probably dont have as much experience as the people on this page i have to say that stock art gave my works that little bit more that was required.

    stock art is definatly needed, it has the potential to save so much time and when used in moderation adds that extra depth and flare to a work. regardless of what my work is i like to have a supply that i can through in if i feel it will improve a work. i have even started creating my own that i just have on my laptop as brushes.

    at the end of the day as an artist though i think it is required to have that sense of ‘Raddness” in your work but if your working for a dead line stock art can deffinatly save you and still look rad. i am, however against creating an entire work out of nothing but stock art.

  • socoduce

    Like it was said before, vectors are the same as clip art, stock photos, and fonts or even brush shapes for that matter. They are tools. True, anyone can just drop a bunch of stuff into a file and post it on the web. I see a bunch of ads that look like the clip art car-wrecks (pieces just smashed together). Then I’ve seen people take a tutorial and their own talent and inspiration and make a masterpiece. The tutorial that kicked this whole conversation off was so simple and effective it was brilliant form an art-as-a-job perspective. I enjoy what you’re doing and I hope you keep it up.

  • Simon H.

    Dear GoMedia, dear Jeff.

    I would say that I agree with Smutek on that.

    I worked this summer in a company doing Graphic Design (T shirts design, embroidery, screen printing, logo devlopment and so on) in the apparel industry. I already knew in my design studies (either in product design or in graphic design) thzt our work is ruled by these deadlines. I just discovered how true it was. And I’m not even talking about customers coming in and wanting a perfect design for a budget that I would qualify of ridiculous.

    So yes, stock vectors and/or artworks and/or fonts and/or stock photographies ARE usefull (and GoMedia vector stock is awesome because beautiful, but that’s a different debate).
    We’re in situations where we just don’t have the time to create every single elements we need for our job. If somebody can create that element or something close enough that we just have to modify a tiny bit, then I’d applause and go direclty there !

    I personally also see the use of stock vectors/artwork/fonts/fill the blank as a challenge : how to still be creative by using these things that everybody has access to ?

    An other aspect is that stock vector can teach you how to use your software (in this case Illustrator). Because most of the time (or when the file is not merged and cleaned) you can see the backstage work that was necessary to create the piece, which is cool for beginning designers.

    And a final aspect would be of course that for people with no artistic knowledge or when you’re just a fan of what the producers of the stock vectors are doing, it can be a way to first go over that lack of talent and second be a way to show that you’re a fan (you just have to be smart enough not to copy but to do a tribute that’s still creative).

    Hope that helps/completes/brings you new stuff to think about :-)

  • http://magorrian.wordpress.com/ Dan

    I remember, back in the day, when I started studying graphic design. I was afraid I was going to be dwarfed by excellent artist that can draw circles around me. After a few weeks I realized I was among the better drawing students. I thought “wow” I got this! While I was spending hours rendering the perfect likeness of a subject, they were soaking up all the graphic technology. As portfolio review was approaching I scrambling to catch up. The future employers that came to see the portfolios could give a rats ass if you could draw or not. They wanted to see who could “design”. Stock art is a tool in graphic design, just like a paintbrush is a tool for a painter.

  • http://magorrian.wordpress.com/ Dan

    I remember, back in the day, when I started studying graphic design. I was afraid I was going to be dwarfed by excellent artist that can draw circles around me. After a few weeks I realized I was among the better drawing students. I thought “wow” I got this! While I was spending hours rendering the perfect likeness of a subject, they were soaking up all the graphic technology. As portfolio review was approaching I scrambling to catch up. The future employers that came to see the portfolios could give a rats ass if you could draw or not. They wanted to see who could “design”. Stock art is a tool in graphic design, just like a paintbrush is a tool for a painter.

  • http://www.ebenoit.com Eric-from-Boston

    why recreate art if you can find something already done?… you’ll instantly begin comping it into your piece and if it doesn’t work, no biggie, because you didn’t just waste all that time creating that piece of art.

    You eventually end up with a warehouse of art which is great to pull from for anything.

  • http://www.ebenoit.com Eric-from-Boston

    why recreate art if you can find something already done?… you’ll instantly begin comping it into your piece and if it doesn’t work, no biggie, because you didn’t just waste all that time creating that piece of art.

    You eventually end up with a warehouse of art which is great to pull from for anything.

  • http://www.ebenoit.com Eric-from-Boston

    “I feel the same way whenever I see big name companies I’d like to work for buying our stock. Why not just hire us?” – Jeff

    Well, most big companies will work with an agency… so the company probably has no clue if the art is coming from gomedia.

    Also, maybe gomedia isn’t positioned to seem like a studio taking jobs… I never realized this til lately and I’ve known GM for a bit. I thought all that was offered was vector packs being sold, I didn’t realize you guys/girls were for hire. — upon further review the link I had was http://gomedia.us/arsenal/ — so I never realized that the home was your studio — i thought GM was just a vector art store — i understand the need for separation but its something to consider

  • http://www.ebenoit.com Eric-from-Boston

    “I feel the same way whenever I see big name companies I’d like to work for buying our stock. Why not just hire us?” – Jeff

    Well, most big companies will work with an agency… so the company probably has no clue if the art is coming from gomedia.

    Also, maybe gomedia isn’t positioned to seem like a studio taking jobs… I never realized this til lately and I’ve known GM for a bit. I thought all that was offered was vector packs being sold, I didn’t realize you guys/girls were for hire. — upon further review the link I had was http://gomedia.us/arsenal/ — so I never realized that the home was your studio — i thought GM was just a vector art store — i understand the need for separation but its something to consider

  • http://www.jagdesignideas.com Joel G

    Wow – lot’s of response on this one! I read the first several and agree for the most part with what I read. Therefore you may conculude that I also agree with Smutek that stock art/images are a valuable resource for a designer.

    That being said I must agree with most of the other comments I read that indicate stock art/imagery cannot (or at least SHOULD not) replace a designer/artists individual creativity.

    I do have the whole Arsenal (or at least I did up until you released pack 12!) and I don’t use it in my work as much as I probably could. But I didn’t buy it just to use 50 or 75 percent of the time. I bought it as a resource to use when I need it. Even if it’s 10 or 20 percent of the time. And it’s worth it to have for just that one or two times when you need the perfect accent or even the perfect baseline.

    As an artist I value my own work on the basis of how creative and individual it is, even if I’m after a particular style that I didn’t create. Stock work for me should never replace my own creative efforts – only supplement them.

  • http://www.jagdesignideas.com Joel G

    Wow – lot’s of response on this one! I read the first several and agree for the most part with what I read. Therefore you may conculude that I also agree with Smutek that stock art/images are a valuable resource for a designer.

    That being said I must agree with most of the other comments I read that indicate stock art/imagery cannot (or at least SHOULD not) replace a designer/artists individual creativity.

    I do have the whole Arsenal (or at least I did up until you released pack 12!) and I don’t use it in my work as much as I probably could. But I didn’t buy it just to use 50 or 75 percent of the time. I bought it as a resource to use when I need it. Even if it’s 10 or 20 percent of the time. And it’s worth it to have for just that one or two times when you need the perfect accent or even the perfect baseline.

    As an artist I value my own work on the basis of how creative and individual it is, even if I’m after a particular style that I didn’t create. Stock work for me should never replace my own creative efforts – only supplement them.

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  • Henry Quiara

    Great responses! My thought is simple. If you are a “real” artist/ designer you will prosper. If you are a copy/pasting train hopper you will eventually be called out. word.

  • Chris180kc

    hahaha!! funny thing is me and another design guy at my job have this discussion all the time. i don’t have a problem with stock art and neither does he. i do prefer creating my own stuff when i can or time allows me to though. stock art or photography is almost like mcdonald’s or burger king, you can go in and order exactly what you want, and you save time, but as many people have already stated if you use it the wrong way or without creativity, you’ve got a hot graphic mess!! i have to totally agree with thomas bailey on the fact that you see so many people that call themselves designers but design by completely using stock art or with no aesthetic sense by just piecing stuff together. i believe if you are going to use stock anything at least put some of your own creative twist to it to make it your own. i also agree with chantwan, i love what you guys do at gomedia, i have the page bookmarked, because i admire the work of jeff, chris, bill, katie and the others. it’s what drives me to sit down and draw and be creative. stock stuff is great to have, just use it wisely and make it your own, change it up a bit. i know that half the time time is against but if time permits, create your own stuff, don’t let others be creative for you, and you accept the credit.

  • Chris180kc

    hahaha!! funny thing is me and another design guy at my job have this discussion all the time. i don’t have a problem with stock art and neither does he. i do prefer creating my own stuff when i can or time allows me to though. stock art or photography is almost like mcdonald’s or burger king, you can go in and order exactly what you want, and you save time, but as many people have already stated if you use it the wrong way or without creativity, you’ve got a hot graphic mess!! i have to totally agree with thomas bailey on the fact that you see so many people that call themselves designers but design by completely using stock art or with no aesthetic sense by just piecing stuff together. i believe if you are going to use stock anything at least put some of your own creative twist to it to make it your own. i also agree with chantwan, i love what you guys do at gomedia, i have the page bookmarked, because i admire the work of jeff, chris, bill, katie and the others. it’s what drives me to sit down and draw and be creative. stock stuff is great to have, just use it wisely and make it your own, change it up a bit. i know that half the time time is against but if time permits, create your own stuff, don’t let others be creative for you, and you accept the credit.

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    It is sometimes a hard sell to defend the use of stock art, be it photography, vectors, purchased patterns or whatever. People tend to look negatively on a designer or the design when or if it is found that stock resources have been used. Having said that I have found out first hand over the last 2 years, that when you design for a living you are almost always under the wire when it comes to time, and spending a lot of time on one design means another one usually suffers.

    When I was in design school I thought I would never deign to use stock resources (which rated right up there with Windows Clip-Art) in any if my illustrations or designs. Having experienced the real world and worked with many, many designers, most of whom have a lot more experience than myself, I have come to realize that stock resources are just another tool you have to use to get your job done. At the end of the day its _you_ as the designer putting together the design. Yes your skulls might come from a vector pack, but you are putting together a composition with existing elements and that composition is how you differentiate your design from everyone other persons designs.

    Would I rather illustrate each of my designs myself and create all of my own elements. Most of the time yes. I almost always create most of my own elements anyways, but I have come to keep a “stock” resources folder on my desktop of mainly stuff I have made, but also stuff others have made so I can re-use them as I need to. For projects I am very personally invested in I will generally only use my own illustrations and other elements, but having said that, I as a professional designer can’t afford to fully invest myself in every single design I do, because in the end the client wants their product by the time they specify.

    While I always work hard to make good designs, stock resources are very valuable in helping me _keep_ my job, because in the end using stock resources is acceptable, constantly turning work in late or not at all is not.

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    It is sometimes a hard sell to defend the use of stock art, be it photography, vectors, purchased patterns or whatever. People tend to look negatively on a designer or the design when or if it is found that stock resources have been used. Having said that I have found out first hand over the last 2 years, that when you design for a living you are almost always under the wire when it comes to time, and spending a lot of time on one design means another one usually suffers.

    When I was in design school I thought I would never deign to use stock resources (which rated right up there with Windows Clip-Art) in any if my illustrations or designs. Having experienced the real world and worked with many, many designers, most of whom have a lot more experience than myself, I have come to realize that stock resources are just another tool you have to use to get your job done. At the end of the day its _you_ as the designer putting together the design. Yes your skulls might come from a vector pack, but you are putting together a composition with existing elements and that composition is how you differentiate your design from everyone other persons designs.

    Would I rather illustrate each of my designs myself and create all of my own elements. Most of the time yes. I almost always create most of my own elements anyways, but I have come to keep a “stock” resources folder on my desktop of mainly stuff I have made, but also stuff others have made so I can re-use them as I need to. For projects I am very personally invested in I will generally only use my own illustrations and other elements, but having said that, I as a professional designer can’t afford to fully invest myself in every single design I do, because in the end the client wants their product by the time they specify.

    While I always work hard to make good designs, stock resources are very valuable in helping me _keep_ my job, because in the end using stock resources is acceptable, constantly turning work in late or not at all is not.

  • Henry Quiara

    Great responses! My thought is simple. If you are a “real” artist/ designer you will prosper. If you are a copy/pasting train hopper you will eventually be called out. word.

  • http://www.franciscogalarraga.com Francisco Galárraga

    One note: trying to compare stock art with fonts is silly. In my illustrative work, if I can, I’ll try to make my own lettering (even if it looks like a child did it).

  • http://www.franciscogalarraga.com Francisco Galárraga

    One note: trying to compare stock art with fonts is silly. In my illustrative work, if I can, I’ll try to make my own lettering (even if it looks like a child did it).

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    @ Francisco

    I don’t understand why it is silly to compare Stock Art and fonts.

    When you think about it they are used in a very similar manner. Both fonts and stock art can be integral parts of a design. Both are generally not created by the designer using them.

    The main difference between stock art and a font, is that is it generally accepted for a designer to use a font that he or she did not design. In many cases it is not as accepted to use stock art.

    While you say you try to make your own lettering for your illustrations, from what you say I infer that sometimes you use fonts created by other designers. This is not so different from an illustrator who would prefer to always use his own illustration, but must occasionally depend on stock artwork for a portion of his design in order to meet a deadline.

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    @ Francisco

    I don’t understand why it is silly to compare Stock Art and fonts.

    When you think about it they are used in a very similar manner. Both fonts and stock art can be integral parts of a design. Both are generally not created by the designer using them.

    The main difference between stock art and a font, is that is it generally accepted for a designer to use a font that he or she did not design. In many cases it is not as accepted to use stock art.

    While you say you try to make your own lettering for your illustrations, from what you say I infer that sometimes you use fonts created by other designers. This is not so different from an illustrator who would prefer to always use his own illustration, but must occasionally depend on stock artwork for a portion of his design in order to meet a deadline.

  • braindoubt

    as i am very new to all this, fonts, stock art, and photography are extremely helpful learning resources for me, but thats about it. i would never presesnt a client with someone else’s work. i am also a musician, and if you tink about from that p.o.v. it’s easy to see that in order to be a TRULY creative artist, it must be original… no ifs ands or buts about it.

  • braindoubt

    as i am very new to all this, fonts, stock art, and photography are extremely helpful learning resources for me, but thats about it. i would never presesnt a client with someone else’s work. i am also a musician, and if you tink about from that p.o.v. it’s easy to see that in order to be a TRULY creative artist, it must be original… no ifs ands or buts about it.

  • Gusto

    Stock art is a tool just like a hammer that a carpinter would use. It all depends on the skill of the user and it usually shows in the finished product. At the end of the day it’s all about the finished product, Does it accomplish the desire effect or goal that you or your client was aiming for?
    I think it’s fine to use stock art for most client work if it fits the needs of the client. I don’t think it hurts the design industry, if anything it helps. It helps because the market gets flooded with generic designs which must clients are satisfied with,however, when a savvy client wants original art work it makes it much easier for you to charge them more for it. It also helps those artist who have come into their own, who only use their own creations, it helps them stand out from the crowd.
    In conclusion i think it’s fine to use stock art.However, it’s probably not a good idea if your goal is to become the next picaso.

  • Gusto

    Stock art is a tool just like a hammer that a carpinter would use. It all depends on the skill of the user and it usually shows in the finished product. At the end of the day it’s all about the finished product, Does it accomplish the desire effect or goal that you or your client was aiming for?
    I think it’s fine to use stock art for most client work if it fits the needs of the client. I don’t think it hurts the design industry, if anything it helps. It helps because the market gets flooded with generic designs which must clients are satisfied with,however, when a savvy client wants original art work it makes it much easier for you to charge them more for it. It also helps those artist who have come into their own, who only use their own creations, it helps them stand out from the crowd.
    In conclusion i think it’s fine to use stock art.However, it’s probably not a good idea if your goal is to become the next picaso.

  • Aspiring

    Personally i believe stock art to be heaven sent. Although I’m moving away from graphic design and the related subject I still see stock art as a great resource.

    Whilst studying at tafe, I was often asked to create posters or logos, I would always have one ready by the end of the lesson.

    When people asked how i finished so quickly I referred them to this site.
    What I’m trying to say (rather oddly at best) is that as a quick fix or supplement to art, stock images are a god send. But like everything, they are best used in moderation.

    Slapping 400 odd skulls on a shirt and a giant zombie face isn’t going to sell. Let alone look good, but adding a subtle hint of wings to a shadow figure or a series of objects to fill in a background will.

  • Aspiring

    Personally i believe stock art to be heaven sent. Although I’m moving away from graphic design and the related subject I still see stock art as a great resource.

    Whilst studying at tafe, I was often asked to create posters or logos, I would always have one ready by the end of the lesson.

    When people asked how i finished so quickly I referred them to this site.
    What I’m trying to say (rather oddly at best) is that as a quick fix or supplement to art, stock images are a god send. But like everything, they are best used in moderation.

    Slapping 400 odd skulls on a shirt and a giant zombie face isn’t going to sell. Let alone look good, but adding a subtle hint of wings to a shadow figure or a series of objects to fill in a background will.

  • Henry Quiara

    Stockart: best if sold by 9/9/09

  • Henry Quiara

    Stockart: best if sold by 9/9/09

  • Gina

    As a design student, I’ve really enjoyed reading all the posts, and there seems to be a consensus, that stock pix are a tool. And why not? why shouldn’t they be a source of creativity? That’s really what it’s all about.

    Artists have always been inspired by other artists. Even the masters apparently used camera obscura effects in their paintings (see “The Ambassadors”). No one should be ashamed of using stock pix and fonts to enhance or inspire their work.

    There will always be schlock out there, but even the graphically numbest person will have a sense that a design ain’t right. Not to sweat it, folks.

  • Gina

    As a design student, I’ve really enjoyed reading all the posts, and there seems to be a consensus, that stock pix are a tool. And why not? why shouldn’t they be a source of creativity? That’s really what it’s all about.

    Artists have always been inspired by other artists. Even the masters apparently used camera obscura effects in their paintings (see “The Ambassadors”). No one should be ashamed of using stock pix and fonts to enhance or inspire their work.

    There will always be schlock out there, but even the graphically numbest person will have a sense that a design ain’t right. Not to sweat it, folks.

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  • smutek

    wow… I didn’t even think that post would ever be read……..

    great discussion!

  • smutek

    wow… I didn’t even think that post would ever be read……..

    great discussion!

  • AndrU

    Francisco, you can’t talk, in most of your jobs i find FONTS, where are your “hand made” fonts?, mmm… “Te la tiras de CREADOR pero no sos tan… aparentemente”, medi tus palabras.

    Saludos!,
    Cheerz!,

    PS: Your WEB PAGE looks blurry, i can’t read the section titles!,

  • AndrU

    Francisco, you can’t talk, in most of your jobs i find FONTS, where are your “hand made” fonts?, mmm… “Te la tiras de CREADOR pero no sos tan… aparentemente”, medi tus palabras.

    Saludos!,
    Cheerz!,

    PS: Your WEB PAGE looks blurry, i can’t read the section titles!,

  • XLCowBoy

    Stock art == lower budget.

    Stock photos… well, Getty Images are far from cheap.

    Maybe that’s the problem? Stock art being too cheap?

  • XLCowBoy

    Stock art == lower budget.

    Stock photos… well, Getty Images are far from cheap.

    Maybe that’s the problem? Stock art being too cheap?

  • Ruben

    with the kind of quality that’s coming out of here…I’m all for stock vectors LOL

  • Ruben

    with the kind of quality that’s coming out of here…I’m all for stock vectors LOL

  • David

    I’m know I’m late to the party, but I learned a set of rules a while ago that hold VERY true to the design business.

    CHEAP, FAST, GOOD – you can pick any two.

    Cheap and fast won’t be good.
    Good and cheap won’t be fast.
    Fast and good won’t be cheap.

    Stock art plays a good role in the cheap and fast categories. When someone wants a job on a budget, I show them some stock art. When I hear “yeah, like that, but i want a custom design”, then I explain the costs involved.

  • David

    I’m know I’m late to the party, but I learned a set of rules a while ago that hold VERY true to the design business.

    CHEAP, FAST, GOOD – you can pick any two.

    Cheap and fast won’t be good.
    Good and cheap won’t be fast.
    Fast and good won’t be cheap.

    Stock art plays a good role in the cheap and fast categories. When someone wants a job on a budget, I show them some stock art. When I hear “yeah, like that, but i want a custom design”, then I explain the costs involved.

  • xthreatx

    i think vectors when used in moderation are a great asset.

    i like to be original but sometimes you just need that something and cant get it

    Go Media’ Arsenal has saved me COUNTLESS times
    especially working with impatient musicians
    x_x

    and sometimes the stuff is just to cool to pass up haha

  • xthreatx

    i think vectors when used in moderation are a great asset.

    i like to be original but sometimes you just need that something and cant get it

    Go Media’ Arsenal has saved me COUNTLESS times
    especially working with impatient musicians
    x_x

    and sometimes the stuff is just to cool to pass up haha

  • http://www.star-promotions.com areveli

    As a customer of GM I have to say, your stock art has saved my butt on several occasions. A quick suggestion? I guarantee you will make a killing off of it…

    Sports or Athletics related stock art. Perhaps you guys could create a set of nothing but sports related art; mascots, balls, cheerleaders, ect.

    Our business is comprised of probably 60% school sports teams. I am sure we could use the set.

  • http://www.star-promotions.com areveli

    As a customer of GM I have to say, your stock art has saved my butt on several occasions. A quick suggestion? I guarantee you will make a killing off of it…

    Sports or Athletics related stock art. Perhaps you guys could create a set of nothing but sports related art; mascots, balls, cheerleaders, ect.

    Our business is comprised of probably 60% school sports teams. I am sure we could use the set.

  • http://www.eternyl.com Drew

    Ok I’ll say it.

    Stock Art is Evil, and if it truly doesn’t ruin the industry…you’ll see that it really, really, really changes it to something else all together.

    …however now a days…it is a necessary evil, and one that will not go away, so we should accept it, and move along.

    but then again…I am always under the deadline gun, so hell yeah I use it often….usually tweak it, and send it on it’s way….good enough….no worries…stock art is great.

    that being said…

    I think anyone who’s over 30 will know that the industry is nothing like it was – when we were in college….and to all those who are fresh out of college…you’ll see the same thing, and probably a more drastic change, when you hit your 30′s.

    Everything is easier now…digitally made, and live-traced…eventually only the trained eye will be able to tell the differences, in a decade or so.

    It does have it’s place….but as the quality improves, and the quantity escalates…the need for custom work really does shrink….at least for the majority.

    Sure there will always be the “pure-ists”…but the general population, could really care less.

    in say 20 years… if there are a 20 million plus cheap vector skulls out there, why would you pay to have a custom skull drawn out?…surely there is something close to the look you need….or that can be tweaked.

    sure it could always be nicer custom, but if you could also make double the profit, by lessening the costs on custom art, you just might be tempted….and most businesses…unfortunately, like profits, more than originality.

    80-90% of businesses view art as a commodity….because…well, it is becoming one.

  • http://www.eternyl.com Drew

    Ok I’ll say it.

    Stock Art is Evil, and if it truly doesn’t ruin the industry…you’ll see that it really, really, really changes it to something else all together.

    …however now a days…it is a necessary evil, and one that will not go away, so we should accept it, and move along.

    but then again…I am always under the deadline gun, so hell yeah I use it often….usually tweak it, and send it on it’s way….good enough….no worries…stock art is great.

    that being said…

    I think anyone who’s over 30 will know that the industry is nothing like it was – when we were in college….and to all those who are fresh out of college…you’ll see the same thing, and probably a more drastic change, when you hit your 30′s.

    Everything is easier now…digitally made, and live-traced…eventually only the trained eye will be able to tell the differences, in a decade or so.

    It does have it’s place….but as the quality improves, and the quantity escalates…the need for custom work really does shrink….at least for the majority.

    Sure there will always be the “pure-ists”…but the general population, could really care less.

    in say 20 years… if there are a 20 million plus cheap vector skulls out there, why would you pay to have a custom skull drawn out?…surely there is something close to the look you need….or that can be tweaked.

    sure it could always be nicer custom, but if you could also make double the profit, by lessening the costs on custom art, you just might be tempted….and most businesses…unfortunately, like profits, more than originality.

    80-90% of businesses view art as a commodity….because…well, it is becoming one.

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    Art as far as it pertains to Graphic Design was always a commodity.

    One could even argue that pure Art, the “hang in a gallery” kind of Art is also a commodity, since if you make a living off of it, it is basically just a product once you remove all other labels and interpretations. Sad and cynical, but true.

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    Art as far as it pertains to Graphic Design was always a commodity.

    One could even argue that pure Art, the “hang in a gallery” kind of Art is also a commodity, since if you make a living off of it, it is basically just a product once you remove all other labels and interpretations. Sad and cynical, but true.

  • http://www.eternyl.com Drew

    I just mean art is being viewed as a commodity, thus being “completely” interchangeable with another product of the same type.

    a service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (such as brand name, or originality) in lieu of price.

  • http://www.eternyl.com Drew

    I just mean art is being viewed as a commodity, thus being “completely” interchangeable with another product of the same type.

    a service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (such as brand name, or originality) in lieu of price.

  • snowgrind

    Having worked in a news environment, often times the graphics created come from video feeds, where video stills are captured and then manipulated to create the graphic for the story. Other times, just simple stock images worked as a solution.

    There are some very skilled and talented designers and there are “desktop jockeys” who understand how to use the design software and use clip art to make something. The difference between the designer and “desktop jockey”, is how to appropriately use clip art as an accent, like a painter uses a swatch of color to make the painting come to life. The designer and artist understand how and why such an accent is used, the “desktop jockey” does not.

    As designers, we create to solve problems. What makes the design art is the process that the designer goes through to get to the solution. Obviously, handmade and original is always the best and correct path to take. However, in this world of “need it by yesterday”, many designers have to make due or lose out on a paycheck. Which causes some designers to use clip art to get the solution to the client’s needs. In such cases, the designer will make the clip art work for them and create something functional, whereas the “desktop jockey” just positions elements and hopes for the best.

    the art of design is the solution which the designer arrives to.

    Unfortunately, a side effect of the digital age is the proliferation of an abundant supply of disposable clip art that makes it very more and more easier for “desktop jockeys” to create, some of it good, some of it bad.

    to call clip art a crutch of design is unfair. clip art is just a tool, to be used to when necessary and not as the final solution.

  • snowgrind

    Having worked in a news environment, often times the graphics created come from video feeds, where video stills are captured and then manipulated to create the graphic for the story. Other times, just simple stock images worked as a solution.

    There are some very skilled and talented designers and there are “desktop jockeys” who understand how to use the design software and use clip art to make something. The difference between the designer and “desktop jockey”, is how to appropriately use clip art as an accent, like a painter uses a swatch of color to make the painting come to life. The designer and artist understand how and why such an accent is used, the “desktop jockey” does not.

    As designers, we create to solve problems. What makes the design art is the process that the designer goes through to get to the solution. Obviously, handmade and original is always the best and correct path to take. However, in this world of “need it by yesterday”, many designers have to make due or lose out on a paycheck. Which causes some designers to use clip art to get the solution to the client’s needs. In such cases, the designer will make the clip art work for them and create something functional, whereas the “desktop jockey” just positions elements and hopes for the best.

    the art of design is the solution which the designer arrives to.

    Unfortunately, a side effect of the digital age is the proliferation of an abundant supply of disposable clip art that makes it very more and more easier for “desktop jockeys” to create, some of it good, some of it bad.

    to call clip art a crutch of design is unfair. clip art is just a tool, to be used to when necessary and not as the final solution.

  • http://www.makedesignnotwar.com Make Design, Not War

    The referenced comment hit the nail on the head – “I used to smirk at stock art… then I got a job”. I’m in the unique position of being a freelancer for Fortune 500 companies, an ‘artist’ on my own, and a student at a Cal State University, I find that there’s mixed messages out there. Schools nowadays are emphasizing the need for “original” work – hand drawn, self shot, designer made custom elements for each and every design. The second I leave class though, I’ve gotta drop the somewhat pretentious ‘anti-stockart’ act and get real; meaning, lots of stock art.

    I honestly don’t think stock art is a bad thing if used properly – it places more art direction responsibilities in the hands of the designer, and it can free up a designer to take on lots of styles and projects that might be otherwise out of his/her realm. The example given is a great one: I might not have 8 hours to produce a highly polished illustration, but I can spend 20 minutes finding one that will get the job done on iStock.

    Some people argue that this lowers the bar for more non-designers to enter the world of desktop design – I’d argue that instead it raises the bar for designers to edge out those newcomers with superior layout, color, and concepts. HOW the art is used can make a huge difference. Reference some of the work on my site MDNW and you can see that I use quite a bit of stock elements, but in a way that treats them as a means to an end, not the other way around. It also allows me to pick and choose when it’s really important that I’m making my own original elements… which again, empowers me as an artist.

    Furthermore, I think the growing industry of stock art is making it so that in the near future, artists who are inspired and talented can actually make a living just by providing high quality stock. Sure, there’s already some people doing this (and have been for a while if you look at getty, Veer, and the like) – but those numbers will just go up as the stock market grows in scope and quality.

    Anyways, this is an awesome conversation – lots of great comments have been made already – thanks for the post :)

  • http://www.makedesignnotwar.com Make Design, Not War

    The referenced comment hit the nail on the head – “I used to smirk at stock art… then I got a job”. I’m in the unique position of being a freelancer for Fortune 500 companies, an ‘artist’ on my own, and a student at a Cal State University, I find that there’s mixed messages out there. Schools nowadays are emphasizing the need for “original” work – hand drawn, self shot, designer made custom elements for each and every design. The second I leave class though, I’ve gotta drop the somewhat pretentious ‘anti-stockart’ act and get real; meaning, lots of stock art.

    I honestly don’t think stock art is a bad thing if used properly – it places more art direction responsibilities in the hands of the designer, and it can free up a designer to take on lots of styles and projects that might be otherwise out of his/her realm. The example given is a great one: I might not have 8 hours to produce a highly polished illustration, but I can spend 20 minutes finding one that will get the job done on iStock.

    Some people argue that this lowers the bar for more non-designers to enter the world of desktop design – I’d argue that instead it raises the bar for designers to edge out those newcomers with superior layout, color, and concepts. HOW the art is used can make a huge difference. Reference some of the work on my site MDNW and you can see that I use quite a bit of stock elements, but in a way that treats them as a means to an end, not the other way around. It also allows me to pick and choose when it’s really important that I’m making my own original elements… which again, empowers me as an artist.

    Furthermore, I think the growing industry of stock art is making it so that in the near future, artists who are inspired and talented can actually make a living just by providing high quality stock. Sure, there’s already some people doing this (and have been for a while if you look at getty, Veer, and the like) – but those numbers will just go up as the stock market grows in scope and quality.

    Anyways, this is an awesome conversation – lots of great comments have been made already – thanks for the post :)

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  • brian

    clipart.com is probably go media’s only rival

    …that’s a joke

  • brian

    clipart.com is probably go media’s only rival

    …that’s a joke

  • Trevor

    If you have a job where you have plenty of time to create ground up original art then you should not use stock art, but for many designers you have to deal with a reality that you have a dozen projects due quickly, there is no time. I dont think anyone should buy stock art and use it AS IS, but I use stock art and change it, or give it my own twist. It saves a lot of time to alter something that is close to what you wanted. I would of course rather do ground up design every-time, but its not a reality. Im still happy that all my end results, are not just copy and paste stock.

  • Trevor

    If you have a job where you have plenty of time to create ground up original art then you should not use stock art, but for many designers you have to deal with a reality that you have a dozen projects due quickly, there is no time. I dont think anyone should buy stock art and use it AS IS, but I use stock art and change it, or give it my own twist. It saves a lot of time to alter something that is close to what you wanted. I would of course rather do ground up design every-time, but its not a reality. Im still happy that all my end results, are not just copy and paste stock.

  • Nicholas Davis

    It’s like cooking. Sure, you may have made an awesome pizza, but did you make the dough from scratch? The cheese, sauce, toppings, etc.? Stock doesn’t replace the artist, it is merely to be used as another tool.

  • Nicholas Davis

    It’s like cooking. Sure, you may have made an awesome pizza, but did you make the dough from scratch? The cheese, sauce, toppings, etc.? Stock doesn’t replace the artist, it is merely to be used as another tool.

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  • Dave

    When an artist makes their own brushes, grinds their own pigments, weaves their own cavases then they can feel free to smirk at stock images. This is a digital age, the tools have changed. Some artists will only use one brand of brush because it gives them just the right line, they aren’t maing the brush themselve’s, it’s a tool thats mass manufactured, but by using it they can create their own peices. Stock images are another tool. The quality of the stock images will affect the final peice, but ultimately the larger artwork will succeed or fail based on the merits of the artist.

  • Dave

    When an artist makes their own brushes, grinds their own pigments, weaves their own cavases then they can feel free to smirk at stock images. This is a digital age, the tools have changed. Some artists will only use one brand of brush because it gives them just the right line, they aren’t maing the brush themselve’s, it’s a tool thats mass manufactured, but by using it they can create their own peices. Stock images are another tool. The quality of the stock images will affect the final peice, but ultimately the larger artwork will succeed or fail based on the merits of the artist.

  • Robin P

    I mailed Jeff about this issue a while ago. Asking him why you guys sell stock vector. I also told him im against it. For reasons like mentioned above. Like you said, big brands buy your vectors cuz its easy and the vectors are above the average skill of most designers. Everyone has to admit that gomedia vectors are good stuff. Me myself can handle illustrator and can realise a good vector, but you guys are really good. I love your designs and work, but you really make the industry bad for others. Like you said, big brands buy your work and noobs download your work from torrents. Where does that leave the more “common” designer. It leaves them in the situation that you describe above. By not selling vectors you would protect your own work and your fellow designers. Looking at the past 3 years graphic design is being swallowed by mass production industry and soulless copying.

  • Robin P

    I mailed Jeff about this issue a while ago. Asking him why you guys sell stock vector. I also told him im against it. For reasons like mentioned above. Like you said, big brands buy your vectors cuz its easy and the vectors are above the average skill of most designers. Everyone has to admit that gomedia vectors are good stuff. Me myself can handle illustrator and can realise a good vector, but you guys are really good. I love your designs and work, but you really make the industry bad for others. Like you said, big brands buy your work and noobs download your work from torrents. Where does that leave the more “common” designer. It leaves them in the situation that you describe above. By not selling vectors you would protect your own work and your fellow designers. Looking at the past 3 years graphic design is being swallowed by mass production industry and soulless copying.

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    What I think a lot of people do not understand, is that traditionally the “graphic designer” did not illustrate their designs. Traditionally an “Illustrator” would draw an image, or a “Photographer” would take a picture and the graphic design would lay out that image with the appropriate text and decorations for an article or poster or magazine cover.

    It is true that a lot of designers today can fill multiple roles (you almost have to in order to be competitive), but in the worlds of Magazine & Newspaper, and even large design firms, it is still rare for one person to be the illustrator, photographer AND designer.

    So technically using stock or premade art is traditionally acceptable.

    I think a lot of the negative attitude regarding stock are comes from the fact that everyone wants to be the artist, and no one wants to be the designer. Or at the very least, they want the people they hold in regard to “be the artist.”

  • http://www.insanitybrush.com whacko

    What I think a lot of people do not understand, is that traditionally the “graphic designer” did not illustrate their designs. Traditionally an “Illustrator” would draw an image, or a “Photographer” would take a picture and the graphic design would lay out that image with the appropriate text and decorations for an article or poster or magazine cover.

    It is true that a lot of designers today can fill multiple roles (you almost have to in order to be competitive), but in the worlds of Magazine & Newspaper, and even large design firms, it is still rare for one person to be the illustrator, photographer AND designer.

    So technically using stock or premade art is traditionally acceptable.

    I think a lot of the negative attitude regarding stock are comes from the fact that everyone wants to be the artist, and no one wants to be the designer. Or at the very least, they want the people they hold in regard to “be the artist.”

  • josh

    I like to use stock art at my work which is mostly motion graphic stuff, very little print. It’s basically only me putting these spots together and It takes enough time as it is to animate everything the way I want, I cant imagine having to create every piece from scratch as well. graphic artists and graphic designers, I’ve heard the term used interchangeably a lot of times , both take creativity of course , but there should be a distinction, like an artist can make something out of nothing and a designer makes something out of some things. I don’t know. I like like draw and sketch and color on my free I know I at least have it in me, because at the end of the day , no matter how much you love your job , it’s still a job and what you do outside of it is the more important. I know that’s a silly thing to say in this profession and maybe would make more sense if we we’re all accountants or something, but whatever, have a smoke

  • josh

    I like to use stock art at my work which is mostly motion graphic stuff, very little print. It’s basically only me putting these spots together and It takes enough time as it is to animate everything the way I want, I cant imagine having to create every piece from scratch as well. graphic artists and graphic designers, I’ve heard the term used interchangeably a lot of times , both take creativity of course , but there should be a distinction, like an artist can make something out of nothing and a designer makes something out of some things. I don’t know. I like like draw and sketch and color on my free I know I at least have it in me, because at the end of the day , no matter how much you love your job , it’s still a job and what you do outside of it is the more important. I know that’s a silly thing to say in this profession and maybe would make more sense if we we’re all accountants or something, but whatever, have a smoke

  • Mig Pilot

    It’s a really hard question. I have used stock, sometimes quite a bit but it comes down to what it is I am doing. I do most of my own drawing etc, usually by hand, scanning and then vectorising (especially for brand work) but sometimes there are things I have in mind (to go with what I am creating) that we have in stock, so it’s just easier, faster and achieves the same end result. That said, what I use in these instances are very generic, say trees, flowers, generic things.

    I have used some silhouettes of people and the like, but only after finding the right photo to create the same thing from scratch proved too elusive.

    Using stock is like a mash up, or a DJ set. Sure you’re using other people’s work but it’s up to you to create something unique from it. Taking stock and doing nothing more than a paste job is pointless but when you take it and mix, tweak, warp and make it your own, then it takes on its own life that belongs to you.

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  • Mig Pilot

    It’s a really hard question. I have used stock, sometimes quite a bit but it comes down to what it is I am doing. I do most of my own drawing etc, usually by hand, scanning and then vectorising (especially for brand work) but sometimes there are things I have in mind (to go with what I am creating) that we have in stock, so it’s just easier, faster and achieves the same end result. That said, what I use in these instances are very generic, say trees, flowers, generic things.

    I have used some silhouettes of people and the like, but only after finding the right photo to create the same thing from scratch proved too elusive.

    Using stock is like a mash up, or a DJ set. Sure you’re using other people’s work but it’s up to you to create something unique from it. Taking stock and doing nothing more than a paste job is pointless but when you take it and mix, tweak, warp and make it your own, then it takes on its own life that belongs to you.

  • Eric

    I am a video editor by trade and training. Working in video, and being a one-man shop, naturally requires some use of stock art. For me that could be graphic elements, animated backgrounds, canned music, or stock photos.

    I love doing all that work myself, but deadlines are deadlines. I don’t have time to shoot every photo, draw every graphic, or write, perform and record every track of music. Too many hats, not enough time.

    Art, to me, is like cooking. We don’t all use the same recipe, but we also don’t grind our own pepper or mill our own flour. Stock elements (photos, music, etc.) to me are the spices I use to cook. It’s not the base of what I create, but a pinch of this and a dash of that help my product “taste” better… and it saves time, and my sanity.

    I do agree, though, that there are many out there, regrettably, who are “all spice and no flavor.”

  • Eric

    I am a video editor by trade and training. Working in video, and being a one-man shop, naturally requires some use of stock art. For me that could be graphic elements, animated backgrounds, canned music, or stock photos.

    I love doing all that work myself, but deadlines are deadlines. I don’t have time to shoot every photo, draw every graphic, or write, perform and record every track of music. Too many hats, not enough time.

    Art, to me, is like cooking. We don’t all use the same recipe, but we also don’t grind our own pepper or mill our own flour. Stock elements (photos, music, etc.) to me are the spices I use to cook. It’s not the base of what I create, but a pinch of this and a dash of that help my product “taste” better… and it saves time, and my sanity.

    I do agree, though, that there are many out there, regrettably, who are “all spice and no flavor.”

  • http://www.grockradio.com Dave

    I would love to create all original designs for a living, and someday I hope to, but like many of you, my current job simply doesn’t allow for it. I am the only artist for a company operating 3 radio stations. I usually have a few hours to create anything and jobs pile up all day long, so stock art is a fact of life.
    Recently I’ve been feeling guilty about using stock all the time. The reason being is that more and more every day I’m seeing the same stock reused everywhere. I almost can’t walk down the street and not identify someone who is using stock in their work and know where it came from, no matter how well the use it in their own way.
    I can help feeling I’m contributing to a growing stagnation in design, but for the time being it’s something I can’t avoid.

  • http://www.grockradio.com Dave

    I would love to create all original designs for a living, and someday I hope to, but like many of you, my current job simply doesn’t allow for it. I am the only artist for a company operating 3 radio stations. I usually have a few hours to create anything and jobs pile up all day long, so stock art is a fact of life.
    Recently I’ve been feeling guilty about using stock all the time. The reason being is that more and more every day I’m seeing the same stock reused everywhere. I almost can’t walk down the street and not identify someone who is using stock in their work and know where it came from, no matter how well the use it in their own way.
    I can help feeling I’m contributing to a growing stagnation in design, but for the time being it’s something I can’t avoid.

  • http://www.4estyoung.com Forrest

    Just like Jeff, from GoMedia, I am a drummer as well as a designer/illustrator. I hold the use of stock images in the same regard as playing a “jazz standard.” A standard in this sense is a piece of music written by someone else that is merely a collection of chord changes with a melody…a skeleton to which any apt musician might breathe some life into and flesh it out.

    Stock art can be the same thing. A good designer should be able to use it as a basis for improvisation. That person’s unique voice has the potential to be more than just a reader of the literal meaning behind the image. He or she can present it back to their audience backwards or forwards, upside down, layered in lavish harmonies, or stripped down to its bare emotional core.

  • http://www.4estyoung.com Forrest

    Just like Jeff, from GoMedia, I am a drummer as well as a designer/illustrator. I hold the use of stock images in the same regard as playing a “jazz standard.” A standard in this sense is a piece of music written by someone else that is merely a collection of chord changes with a melody…a skeleton to which any apt musician might breathe some life into and flesh it out.

    Stock art can be the same thing. A good designer should be able to use it as a basis for improvisation. That person’s unique voice has the potential to be more than just a reader of the literal meaning behind the image. He or she can present it back to their audience backwards or forwards, upside down, layered in lavish harmonies, or stripped down to its bare emotional core.

  • theif

    i cant wait for the new go media designs to hit the torrents!!
    ill change the colors and alter a bit and sell them off to beat those darn high priced gfx designers at their own game

  • theif

    i cant wait for the new go media designs to hit the torrents!!
    ill change the colors and alter a bit and sell them off to beat those darn high priced gfx designers at their own game

  • http://artficionado.blogspot.com Henry Quiara

    Nice comment “Thief” nice.
    Ironically the only person that is robbed blind is you.
    Robbed of any real talent, originality and most of all dignity.
    Congratulations on your un-accomplishments!

    -Henry

  • http://artficionado.blogspot.com Henry Quiara

    Nice comment “Thief” nice.
    Ironically the only person that is robbed blind is you.
    Robbed of any real talent, originality and most of all dignity.
    Congratulations on your un-accomplishments!

    -Henry

  • Markis

    Hi guys! I agree with lots of people out here! but I have to raise a question: Don’t you feel that in a way, you are limited to people who make these stock vectors? The thing is, you will only make things in a certain way, and it can only look the certain way, so realy you aren’t giving the design world your perspective, you are promoting other artists/companies that make stock. The art/design world would more rappidly evolve if artist/designers are not following other peoples trends. I agree on pressures of deadlines, and crazy customers, but doing design in other peoples “visions” is something I would liko to see change.

  • Markis

    Hi guys! I agree with lots of people out here! but I have to raise a question: Don’t you feel that in a way, you are limited to people who make these stock vectors? The thing is, you will only make things in a certain way, and it can only look the certain way, so realy you aren’t giving the design world your perspective, you are promoting other artists/companies that make stock. The art/design world would more rappidly evolve if artist/designers are not following other peoples trends. I agree on pressures of deadlines, and crazy customers, but doing design in other peoples “visions” is something I would liko to see change.

  • http://insanitybrush.com whacko

    @Markis:

    Usually when I use stock artwork, whether it is stuff I have made myself or stuff I have bought, I significantly alter it in the course of my design process. I cut the artwork up, change colors, remove or add details, alter effects/styles/blending/textures etc. Usually when I am done with the stock artwork is it no longer recognizeable as such.

    This brings up a point discussed earlier in this thread: Stock Artwork doesn’t replace the designer, it is just a tool. If you just throw up a bunch of vector stock pieces into a composition with no sense of intent you design will be bland and people won’t want to look at it. You have to be able to add your own personal touch/flair/meaning/etc to a design in order to bring it to life.

    Also if you give two designers one box of crayons to share, they will produce two different drawings. No two designers think, see or design exactly the same. And as for following trends.. you have to give the client what the client wants. Or you won’t have any clients. If they want a trend you give them the best version of the trend you can, and if you are lucky you can add a bit of yourself into the design and maybe kick off the next phase of that trend (if you are really lucky).

  • http://insanitybrush.com whacko

    @Markis:

    Usually when I use stock artwork, whether it is stuff I have made myself or stuff I have bought, I significantly alter it in the course of my design process. I cut the artwork up, change colors, remove or add details, alter effects/styles/blending/textures etc. Usually when I am done with the stock artwork is it no longer recognizeable as such.

    This brings up a point discussed earlier in this thread: Stock Artwork doesn’t replace the designer, it is just a tool. If you just throw up a bunch of vector stock pieces into a composition with no sense of intent you design will be bland and people won’t want to look at it. You have to be able to add your own personal touch/flair/meaning/etc to a design in order to bring it to life.

    Also if you give two designers one box of crayons to share, they will produce two different drawings. No two designers think, see or design exactly the same. And as for following trends.. you have to give the client what the client wants. Or you won’t have any clients. If they want a trend you give them the best version of the trend you can, and if you are lucky you can add a bit of yourself into the design and maybe kick off the next phase of that trend (if you are really lucky).

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  • Mr.Sea

    This subject made me go crazy when i first started designing!! I always ended up feeling like less of an artist when i used stock art, but then i realized if you utilize it in the right ways there’s no reason to get your self down about it. I enjoy stock art to a certain extent. I own a sign shop/print shop and it’s a speedy environment. I’m the only graphic designer running the show as of now, I’d love to take the time and make everything custom every time but it’s just not possible. It can go so many different ways with this stuff. I see a lot of the shops here using the same clip art/vector art. So what happens when two different shops close by use the same vector art for a customer… then that customer passes the other shops customer on the road in their work vans and have the same logo/design. I see this happening a lot around here.. and that’s the thing i don’t like about it… but i guess if you know how to use it right that won’t happen? Or what happens for the artist who’s weakness is drawing and excels more in abstract art/painting? Most have no choice but to resort to some type of clip art. I must say i do enjoy the go media stock art. It’s far from generic and there’s so much of it! All in all i think if you use your mind and get creative with this stuff it works out fine. If your just taking a stock skull and some wings and slapping it on a shirt or what have you then maybe you should try being a professional bowler or some shit.

  • Mr.Sea

    This subject made me go crazy when i first started designing!! I always ended up feeling like less of an artist when i used stock art, but then i realized if you utilize it in the right ways there’s no reason to get your self down about it. I enjoy stock art to a certain extent. I own a sign shop/print shop and it’s a speedy environment. I’m the only graphic designer running the show as of now, I’d love to take the time and make everything custom every time but it’s just not possible. It can go so many different ways with this stuff. I see a lot of the shops here using the same clip art/vector art. So what happens when two different shops close by use the same vector art for a customer… then that customer passes the other shops customer on the road in their work vans and have the same logo/design. I see this happening a lot around here.. and that’s the thing i don’t like about it… but i guess if you know how to use it right that won’t happen? Or what happens for the artist who’s weakness is drawing and excels more in abstract art/painting? Most have no choice but to resort to some type of clip art. I must say i do enjoy the go media stock art. It’s far from generic and there’s so much of it! All in all i think if you use your mind and get creative with this stuff it works out fine. If your just taking a stock skull and some wings and slapping it on a shirt or what have you then maybe you should try being a professional bowler or some shit.

  • FezDaStanza

    I'll admit I'm not very good at drawing, I don't own a graphics tablet, a scanner, a basic printer and I'm 16 so I live of pocket money.

    To me, stock vectors are a way for me to make things the way a composer might make music: I don't have to be able to play the instrument, just know how it will add to the scene I want to create.

    I like to think it's my own work but I can understand why people might go “oh” when I tell them its stock vectors. I think if you have the ability to draw things equivalent or better than Go Media vectors, then there is little need to use them: maybe inspiration? But I don't see the harm in using it due to time restrictions.

  • http://twistofnelly.deviantart.com/ Aga

    stock artworks are the way to go…
    it saves up a lot of time, and also helps people who don't have the luxury to start things from scratch and also people who aren't good at drawings, i.e. me.

    but there're also some negatives that can come with stocks.
    people who took them for granted.
    it could limit their creativity,
    and once in a while you can see some things that're similar to one another, that is IF they're using the same stock, for granted, without making any modifications on it or just do the design as it is. I for one saw some cases already, here. and that is one of the downsides of using stock artworks.

    well, to sum it up, I'm totally with using stocks, but one should never take things for granted, and use these amazing stocks along WITH their creativity as well.

    and I want to thank all stock makers and providers wherever you are :D

    you've done so much and helped sooo much saving us time and sometimes gave inspirations on my and other's designs :D

    cheers

    -a

  • http://www.angryblue.com/ angryblue

    i do illustration for a living. as a designer – i'd sink without the aid of clip-art. it's not even necessarily about budget. it's about time. i just did some stuff for a client that was being weird and shifty. i'm glad i didn't spend hours drawing original work for them.

    now that i did the first phase of the job, they have ended communication despite me delivering solid work in a timely matter things that their ad-agency couldn't do alone. these sorts of situations are also looked over in the clip art discussions.

    anyone that thinks they're too good for clip art is just doing something different than i am.

    i have a lot of pride and confidence in my illustration work. sometimes, there just isn't time. sometimes, you're delivering on a job that is outside your range of illustration, but you know you can still provide something completely on-target for your client without flinching with the use of your clip art supplies.

    it's no different than any of my other resources. i draw like a designer. i figure out what i need and then put it into the appropriate context. without my background in design, i'd fail.

  • http://brandfantom.wordpress.com/ brandfantom

    I can see why some poeple need stock arts but scents I am a graphcis designer/ilustrator I just make my own things originally without help. More powered to the stock artists becaus they're making money by helping the people that can't make graphics for they self and peple in time crunchings.

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